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On a point of order, Mr Speaker. Will you indulge me for a moment? I have a bit of FOMO—fear of missing out—because as a Front Bencher I have not been able to say thank you for everything that you have done in the House. I thank you for all you have done on issues of equality and for not shying away from talking about race. I thank you for all you have done on LGBT+ issues, and for making this House more inclusive. Thank you for opening your state rooms, so that small organisations that thought the Houses of Parliament did not care about them could come to some of the grandest rooms in the Palace and feel valued. Thank you for all you have done.
I also want to thank you, Mr Speaker, for bringing Reverend Rose into the House. Hearing everybody’s testament on how she has touched all our lives has been very moving. She has touched my life in many ways. My right hon. Friend Valerie Vaz spoke about Labi Siffre. Reverend Rose and I talk often about this song and I just wanted to say the first verse:
“The higher you build your barriers
The taller I become
The further you take my rights away
The faster I will run
You can deny me, you can decide
To turn your face away
No matter ’cause there’s
Something inside so strong
I know that I can make it
Though you’re doing me wrong, so wrong
You thought that my pride was gone, oh no
There’s something inside so strong”.
Thank you, Mr Speaker, for being so strong. I thank Reverend Rose for all that she has done for the House, for me and for everybody. Thank you.