Tories hold a minute's silence in memory of The Queen

Tories hold a minute's silence in memory of The Queen

10/02/2022

‘She saw us through change and challenge, constitutional crisis, conflict and Covid’: Tories hold a minute’s silence in memory of The Queen before singing the national anthem as MPs pay tribute to ‘extraordinary symbol of national unity’

  • Leader of the House of Commons Penny Mordaunt, flanked by photographs, paid tribute to the late Queen
  • Liz Truss and her cabinet were on the front row of Birmingham’s International Convention Centre (ICC)
  • Ms Mordaunt said: ‘She saw us through change and challenge, constitutional crisis, conflict, Covid’
  • It comes as the Labour Party Conference last week opened with the national anthem for the first time ever 

Conservative Party members stood for a minute’s silence in memory of the Queen before singing the national anthem on the first day of the party’s conference – as MPs paid tribute to her as an ‘extraordinary symbol of national unity’. 

Liz Truss and her Cabinet were on the front row of hall one at Birmingham’s International Convention Centre (ICC) as members remained standing to sing the national anthem in praise of King Charles III.

Members stood and cheered as the Prime Minister entered the hall at the start of proceedings, ahead of welcoming remarks by the president of the National Conservative Convention, Fleur Butler.

Leader of the House of Commons Penny Mordaunt paid tribute to the late Queen, flanked by photographs.

Ms Mordaunt said: ‘She saw us through change and challenge, constitutional crisis, conflict, Covid.

Conservative Party members stood for a minute’s silence in memory of the Queen before singing the national anthem on the first day of the party’s conference. Pictured: Leader of the House of Commons Penny Mordaunt delivers a tribute to Queen Elizabeth II

‘And every time we battled, we had Her Majesty alongside us, advising us, guiding us, unifying us all.’

Party members were shown a video montage of recollections of the Queen from former Conservative prime ministers Sir John Major, David Cameron, Theresa May and Boris Johnson.

Mr Cameron said: ‘I think her greatest legacy is demonstrating just what a brilliant model our constitutional monarchy is.

Duchy of Lancaster Nadhim Zahawi, Foreign Secretary, James Cleverly, Chancellor of the Exchequer Kwasi Kwarteng, Britain’s Prime Minister Liz Truss and husband Hugh O’Leary bowed their heads during a minutes silence in tribute

‘She was an extraordinary symbol of national unity, she brought the country together, but she also did so much to represent and symbolise Britain abroad.’

Ms May added: ‘One of the striking characteristics of her late Majesty was her devotion to duty.’

Mr Johnson said: ‘I think there has been no other monarch in our history who has (seen) such a phenomenal increase in the prosperity, in the opportunity, in the longevity, of the British people as she has in her reign, and for that reason alone I think that she should be recorded as Elizabeth the Great.’

Chancellor of the Exchequer Kwasi Kwarteng, Prime Minister Liz Truss and her husband, Hugh O’Leary sing the national anthem during a tribute to the late Queen Elizabeth II

It comes as the Labour Party Conference last week opened with the national anthem for the first time ever to pay tribute to Her Majesty. 

Speaking from the conference stage, Sir Keir Starmer led tributes to the Queen saying it ‘still feels impossible to imagine a Britain without her’.

Sir Keir said: ‘Because our Queen’s devotion to Britain was underpinned by one crucial understanding – she knew that the country she came to symbolise is bigger than any one individual or institution…

Before leading a rendition of God Save the King Sir Keir told the audience in Liverpool: ‘Let’s turn our collar up and face the storm, keep alive the spirit of public service she embodied and let it drive us towards a better future.’

Leader Keir Starmer hailed the late monarch’s commitment to her country as he urged delegates at its party conference to emulate her drive.

‘For 70 years, Queen Elizabeth II stood as head of our country, but, in spirit, she stood amongst us.’

However, Jeremy Corbyn argued the move was unnecessary. He said on Nick Robinson’s Political Thinking podcast: ‘They’ve never done it before, there’s never been any demand to do it.

‘We don’t as a country routinely go around singing the national anthem at every single event we go to.

‘We don’t sing in schools, we don’t have the raising of the flag as they do in the USA and other places.

‘We are not that sort of, what I would call, excessively nationalist.’

But there was even applause in the hall as the singing came to an end.

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