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Valedictory Debate

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 4:03 pm on 5th November 2019.

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Photo of Justine Greening Justine Greening Independent, Putney 4:03 pm, 5th November 2019

My hon. Friend is quite right, and he brings me on to why I am here today as a Member who is departing the House. I have served my community and my country in Parliament for 14 years, but the mission that drives me more than any other is social mobility. It has characterised my life, and it is crucial to the future of our country and to making it a country in which there is equality of opportunity so that everybody gets the chance, and indeed the right, to use their talents. Part of the solution to delivering that is in government and in Parliament, of course, but the other part of the solution is surely outside this place. Working with businesses and organisations is part of how we will get opportunities to more young people. Through the social mobility pledge, I will be continuing to work on social mobility and, indeed, scaling it up.

When I look to the horizon and where our country’s journey is going next, I recognise, understand and agree that this House will rightly remain obsessed with Brexit, but there will be a time after that. I want to make a constructive and positive contribution to social mobility, and I want to make sure that, when we get to that point, I am able to show that businesses are part of the solution for getting more opportunities to more young people. We must reflect on that and build on it further.