Jeremy Corbyn sparked the sneering reaction of members of Parliament when he suggested newly-elected MPs viewed the Queen’s Speech as a “pantomime.” The Labour leader made the comments as part of his response to the Government’s policy blueprint for the next five years. Addressing colleagues in the Commons on Thursday, Mr Corbyn said: “I’d like to take this opportunity to welcome all new members to the House on both sides of the House because being a member of Parliament is a massive achievement.
“It’s a massive honour. And I would’ve thought in witnessing our opening proceedings today that must have thought, ‘what on Earth have I taken on? The pantomime season has come very early this season’.”
Members of Parliament, however, did not appear to appreciate the joke and jeered Mr Corbyn, who immediately replied: “Yeah, look behind you.”
The Labour leader also paid tribute to former MPs who lost their seats in last week’s general election.
Mr Corbyn witnessed the loss of 60 seats after the Conservatives swept through traditional northern seats like Bolsover and Blythe Valley.
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He continued: “And I’d also like to pay tribute to those members who lost their seats because running in an election and losing their seats is an amazingly traumatic experience for those who have done tremendous work during the campaign.
“The trauma they must feel is something everyone in this House should think on for a moment, the human side of what that must be.”
Mr Corbyn went on to suggest the Conservative Party had taken on several policies the Labour Party proposed.
Addressing both Houses of Parliament, the Queen said her Government’s “priority” was to take the UK out of the EU on January 31 – but that it would also embark on an “ambitious programme of domestic reform that delivers on the people’s priorities”.
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She said the “integrity and prosperity” of the UK is of the “utmost importance to my Government”.
Her words come amid fresh calls from the SNP to grant Holyrood the power to hold a second vote on Scottish independence, with SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon publishing a new document she says sets out the “democratic case” for another referendum on Scottish indpendence.
The document, Scotland’s Right To Choose, was made public as Nicola Sturgeon confirmed she has written to Boris Johnson asking for the power to hold a second ballot on independence.
The Prime Minister’s legislative programme includes Bills which will ensure the most serious violent offenders – including terrorists – serve longer prison terms, a proposal he controversially first announced in the wake of the London Bridge terror attack last month.
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In a written introduction to the speech, Mr Johnson said: “Last week’s seismic election not only changed the political landscape, it has broken the parliamentary deadlock of the last three years and allowed the country to go forward.
“Millions of people, many of them who have never voted Conservative before, put their faith in this Government and voted overwhelmingly for us to move this country on and deliver change.
“We have no time to waste, and we begin immediately with the most radical Queen’s Speech in a generation to deliver on the priorities of the British people.”
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