Sir Keir Starmer has seen the pacifist policies of his predecessor Jeremy Corbyn come back to haunt him during a bruising exchange during the Queen’s Speech debate on Tuesday. Tory MP Graham Stuart was delivering the response of MPs to the Monarch’s speech when he slipped in a jibe at Labour’s previous stance on Britain’s nuclear deterrent which sent the whole house into fits of laughter.
Mr Stuart told MPs: “Russia’s unprovoked and unjustifiable attack on Ukraine has united the whole of this house in condemnation.
“We stand together with our friends in Ukraine, and I congratulate the Right Honourable gentleman, the leader of the opposition for his party’s wholehearted backing off the measures to support the Ukrainians.
“We are providing Mr Speaker rocket launchers complete with rockets.
“So different from the Trident submarines, the Right Honourable gentleman’s party previously proposed, which were to have been built but you will remember never armed.”
The Labour leader faced further jibes over the Beergate scandal.
Mr Stuart, Conservative MP for Beverley and Holderness, spoke about the history of his constituency’s electoral controversies, he said: “Free beer and cash were the electoral controversies then, as opposed to say, beer and curry today.
“Never Mr Speaker, never, in the history of human conflict has so much karma come from a korma.”
Mr Stuart also spoke about being one of the only Tories to win a seat from Labour in the North when he was first elected, adding: “The leader of the opposition must wish it was so today. Instead the only thing opening up for him in the North is a police investigation.”
The Prince of Wales made history when he opened the new session of Parliament alongside Prince William in place of the Queen.
Prince Charles sat not on the sovereign’s throne, which had been removed, but on the consort’s throne, which used to be occupied by his father, the Duke of Edinburgh, and which the 73-year-old has used in recent years.
A space remained next to him, where the Queen’s missing throne normally sits, under an ornate canopy, with the monarch’s Imperial State Crown in front on a velvet cushion.
On either side of Charles were William, in a morning coat, and Camilla, wearing a day dress and hat, in the Chairs of State.