Her Majesty the Queen delivered the Speech from the Lords Chamber outlining the Government's legislative programme for the parliamentary year ahead, on Wednesday 8 May. The House of Commons then began six days of debate on the contents of the Speech.
Debate on the Address
The first day of the Debate on the Address, as it is known, is general in tone, the other days are on specific topics. This is the first debate of the new session and it normally lasts for five days.
The motion for the debate is phrased as "an Humble Address" to Her Majesty thanking her for her gracious speech.
The task of proposing and seconding the motion is regarded as an honour and is given to two government backbench MPs. They are normally a contrasting pair with very different constituencies, one a relative new MP and the other a long-serving MP. By convention, their speeches are not contentious and contain both humour and flattering references to their constituencies.
Queen's Speech 2013 proposer and seconder
The Leader of the Opposition, Edward Miliband, responded on behalf of the Opposition. The Prime Minister, David Cameron, replied on behalf of the Government.
House of Commons subjects for debate
The Debate on the Address will focus on the following subjects over the course of the next five sitting days:
- Thursday 9 May - Home Affairs
- Friday 10 May - Jobs and Business
- Monday 13 May - Health and Social Care
- Tuesday 14 May - Cost of Living
- Wednesday 15 May - Economic Growth
Watching debates from the public gallery
UK residents and overseas visitors can watch proceedings for free in the House of Commons by visiting the public gallery.
Image: Parliamentary copyright