Hilary Benn - Member of Parliament for Leeds Central
This is the speech that Hilary made in the House of Commons on 9th September as part of the Parliamentary tributes to Queen Elizabeth II:
“I rise to speak on behalf of my constituents in Leeds Central, as we mourn the Queen’s passing, offer our heartfelt condolences to His Majesty the King and to the Royal Family on their private grief borne so publicly, and as we mark an extraordinary life.
Hers was a life that above all else embodied constancy. We have known no other and we feel the Queen’s passing so keenly because she was always here.
Her devotion to duty, to service and to representing our nation ran like an unbroken thread through the decades as well as through each of our lives. Like the passing of time and the changing of the seasons, she was always here.
And although so many things changed around her during her reign, she did not change. Above the noisy clamour of political and public debate, she carried on and showed us what service means, carried out with grace and with humour.
And now the day has come, as we long feared but knew it would, when she is no longer here, and as the people of Leeds, of Yorkshire and of the country come to terms with its deep sense of loss at this moment in the history of our nation – our United Kingdom – let us give thanks for her uniquely long and well-lived life.
And just as faith, hope, and love abide, so will our memories of the Queen. Her constancy, her service and her profound sense of duty.
Thank you for everything that you did Ma’am.
And may you rest in peace eternal.”