Prorogation — Her Majesty's Most Gracious Speech

– in the House of Commons at 5:05 pm on 7th April 2005.

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Photo of Michael Martin Michael Martin Chair, Speaker's Committee on the Electoral Commission, Speaker of the House of Commons, Chair, Speaker's Committee on the Electoral Commission 5:05 pm, 7th April 2005

I have further to acquaint the House that the Lord High Chancellor, one of the Lords Commissioners, delivered Her Majesty's most Gracious Speech to both Houses of Parliament, in pursuance of Her Majesty's Command. For greater accuracy I have obtained a copy, and also directed that the terms of the Speech be printed in the Journal of this House. Copies are being made available in the Vote Office:

My Lords and Members of the House of Commons

My Government has pursued economic policies which have brought about sustained growth and prosperity.

My Government has continued to take action to secure high levels of employment as it reforms the welfare state.

An Act has been passed that allows for the extension of the circumstances in which a family can be eligible for Child Benefit for 16–19 year olds who are in learning.

Legislation has been enacted to support the continuing fight against terrorism in the United Kingdom.

An Act has been passed to reform the office of Lord Chancellor, and to establish a Supreme Court for the United Kingdom and a Judicial Appointments Commission for England and Wales.

An Act has been passed as an interim measure to make the electoral register in Northern Ireland both accurate and comprehensive until more permanent measures can be put in place.

Legislation has been passed to provide a statutory framework for dealing with the financial, health and welfare decisions of those people who might lack capacity through mental illness or disability.

My Government has continued to work towards the reduction of bureaucracy and the costs of Government, and towards promoting efficiency. An Act has been passed to integrate the Inland Revenue and Her Majesty's Customs and Excise.

An Act has been passed to establish the Serious Organised Crime Agency and to strengthen the fight against crime.

An Act has been passed to improve local environmental quality by tackling the antisocial behaviour that blights our communities.

Legislation has been enacted to streamline the school inspection regime and to bring in three-year budgets for schools, which will help raise standards for every child in every school.

An Act has been passed to unify and simplify the Ombudsman service in Wales.

An Act has been passed to tackle the problem of drug abuse and the crime that flows from it.

Legislation has been enacted to enable the United Kingdom to fulfil international commitments to confer privileges and immunities on a number of international organisations and bodies.

Measures to reform the law on mental health have undergone pre-legislative scrutiny.

Draft legislation has been published to safeguard the welfare of children in circumstances of parental separation and inter-country adoption from countries where there are concerns about child welfare.

A draft Bill has been published to introduce a new offence of corporate manslaughter.

Draft legislation has been published to ensure the better management and protection of our natural environment and rural communities.

A Bill has been introduced to authorise the construction of Crossrail.

Other important measures have been enacted.

Members of the House of Commons

I thank you for the provision you have made for the work and dignity of the Crown and for the public service.

My Lords and Members of the House of Commons

The Duke of Edinburgh and I were pleased to receive the State Visit of His Excellency the President of the Republic of Korea and the State Visit of His Excellency the President of Italy.

My Government currently holds the G8 Presidency, and is placing high priority on the important issues of Africa and climate change.

My Government has continued to work with partners around the world to prevent terrorism and the proliferation of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons, and the problems of drug smuggling and international crime.

My Government has worked to strengthen commitment on both sides of the Atlantic to the transatlantic relationship and to the continued effectiveness of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, and has worked with the international community to strengthen the United Nations.

My Government continues to support the Government of Iraq to provide security and stability following the elections held in January.

My Government has continued to support efforts to build peace in the Middle East, to promote democratic reform and reduce conflict and extremism.

My Lords and Members of the House of Commons

I pray that the blessing of Almighty God may rest upon your counsels.

The Commission was also for proroguing this present Parliament and the Lord Chancellor said:

"My Lords and Members of the House of Commons: By virtue of Her Majesty's Commission which has now been read, we do, in Her Majesty's name, and in obedience to Her Majesty's commands, prorogue this Parliament to Thursday, the Fourteenth day of April to be then here holden, and this Parliament is accordingly prorogued to Thursday, the Fourteenth day of April."

End of the Fourth Session (opened on 23 November 2004) of the Fifty-Third Parliament of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, in the Fifty-Fourth Year of the Reign of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Second.