By Justin Madders

MP for Ellesmere Port

A NUMBER of my constituents have been in touch with me to discover why they were not able to vote in last week’s elections.

Large areas of the United Kingdom – all of Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales as well as the whole of London – went to the polls last Thursday alongside voters in many large cities and some rural areas too.

But electors in our part of the world in the Cheshire West and Chester Council area, and in Cheshire East too, must wait until May 2023 before being able to vote in council elections then.

Those who did vote delivered some more than pleasing results for the Labour Party in which I serve as a Shadow Minister. We took overall control of three former Conservative London flagship councils – Barnet, Wandsworth and Westminster. We also took control of the new Cumbria local authority in the North, of Southampton in the South and consolidated our position in many other parts of England. We re-emphasised our dominance of politics in Wales and started to build back a strong presence in Scotland.

There were a few setbacks here and there but all in all we are making good progress in our desperately needed bid to lead the next UK Government.

In one of my April columns I touched on events that occur when Parliament is about to be ‘prorogued’ – meaning the current session of Westminster business is coming to an end.

Parliament is then dissolved until the State Opening of the new Parliament which was held on Tuesday. On that important day Her Majesty uses the Queen's Speech to set out the Government's agenda for the next Parliamentary term.

Now the words read by the Queen are not hers – they are provided for her by the government of the day. It should not be interpreted that Her Majesty is in favour of what is being proposed, or is against what is being suggested.

She is strictly neutral when it comes to politics. In reading the Queen’s Speech, however, she is taking part in one of our long-standing Parliamentary rituals.

By the time you read these words you may be aware of some of what is being proposed by the Government in the months ahead and on this occasion sadly the Queen has not been well enough to deliver those words in person.

Whilst many constituents have contacted me regarding Boris Johnson’s rule breaking to express their outrage, the allegation against Keir Starmer has not had the same reaction. I do think that the suggestion that he broke the rules by having something to eat and a bottle of beer during a break in campaigning has been politically motivated in an effort to distract from Boris Johnson’s own transgressions. I am confident that Keir Starmer will have been found to have complied with the law but it is noticeable, and in stark contrast to his opposite number, that Keir Starmer has indicated that he will resign if issued with a fixed penalty notice. I sincerely believe and hope that it will not come to this but to make such a clear statement about it marks Keir Starmer out as a man of his word and an example of leadership in public office that others would do well to emulate.