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My Lords, it is a privilege to open this debate following Her Majesty’s gracious Speech. I do so with the added honour of being able to speak from the Dispatch Box and address this House for the first time since I took up a position as a Minister in this Government. I am confident of a constructive and lively debate on local government, home affairs, energy, the environment and agriculture, and I look forward to the maiden speeches of the noble Lord, Lord Kerslake, and the right reverend Prelate the Bishop of Salisbury and to the valedictory speech of my noble friend Lord Eden. I also extend my congratulations to the noble Baroness, Lady Smith, on her appointment as Leader of the Opposition in this House.