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Part of Debate on the Address – in the House of Commons at 12:41 pm on 16th October 2019.

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Photo of Theresa May Theresa May Conservative, Maidenhead 12:41 pm, 16th October 2019

My hon. Friend is absolutely right that the Labour party’s plans for spending and for crashing our economy would actually mean there is less money available for schools, less money for the police and less money for our hospitals.

This is an important debate because the Queen’s Speech sets the tone for the sort of country that we want to be post Brexit. I am pleased to see in the Queen’s Speech so many Bills that will take forward work that was proposed or started under the Government I had the privilege to lead. One very good example of that is the Domestic Abuse Bill. I shall not speak about it now, because I spoke on Second Reading, but it is an important piece of legislation that will help to improve people’s quality of life.

There are many other Bills in the Queen’s Speech that will also help to improve people’s quality of life and show that it is the Conservatives who listen to people but also recognise that it is not about headlines; governing is about delivering practical solutions to the problems that people face day to day. We can have the best head- lines, the greatest oratory and the most arresting phrases, but they are of no use if they do not practically deliver for people. That is what this Government are about.

Another Bill that will make a huge difference to people’s lives—my right hon. Friend the Home Secretary referred to it in her opening speech—is the serious violence Bill. There is no doubt that there is a problem that we have to address in relation to serious violence, particularly knife crime among young people. A lot of serious violence is, of course, linked to drugs. In February, we were able to set up a review, and Dame Carol Black took on the work of looking at the link between serious violence and drugs.

That review is important, but what is also important —it is reflected in the serious violence Bill—is a recognition that it is not a single Department’s issue. I believe Dame Cressida Dick, the Metropolitan Police Commissioner, said that we cannot arrest ourselves out of this problem. It is for every Department to play its part, because if we look particularly at the issue of gangs and young people, we can see that, sadly, gang membership is giving young people an identity and a sense of purpose and belonging. We need to address those issues if we are to deal with that violence.