National News

Our economy has grown 2.2% in the last year. Conservatives are delivering an economy that works for everyone.

Latest figures from the Office for National Statistics show that more people are in work than ever before and wages are still rising – good news for Britain’s families.

The number of people in work is now at record high of 31.7 million and the unemployment rate is the lowest it’s been in over a decade.

Wages are up 2.2% in the last year, meaning more money in the pockets of working people. The female employment rate is at a record high of 69.6% and the proportion of 16-24 year olds who’ve left full-time education and are unemployed is the lowest ever.

We are delivering on our promise to help people get on in life, by building a Britain that works for everyone, not just the privileged few.

I have just been to Buckingham Palace, where Her Majesty the Queen has asked me to form a new Government. And I accepted. In David Cameron, I follow in the footsteps of a great, modern Prime Minister. Under David's leadership, the Government stabilised the economy, reduced the budget deficit, and helped more people into work than ever before. But David's true legacy is not about the economy, but about social justice.

From the introduction of same-sex marriage to taking people on low wages out of income tax altogether, David Cameron has led a One Nation Government, and it is in that spirit that I also plan to lead. Because not everybody knows this, but the full title of my party is the Conservative and Unionist Party. And that word unionist is very important to me. It means we believe in the Union, the precious, precious bond between England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

But it means something else that is just as important. It means we believe in a union, not just between the nations of the United Kingdom, but between all of our citizens. Every one of us, whoever we are, and wherever we're from. That means fighting against the burning injustice that if you're born poor, you will die on average nine years earlier than others.

If you’re black, you’re treated more harshly by the criminal justice system than if you’re white. If you’re a white, working-class boy, you are less likely than anybody else in Britain to go to university. If you’re at a state school, you’re less likely to reach the top professions than if you are educated privately. If you’re a woman, you will earn less than a man. If you suffer from mental health problems, there's not enough help to hand. If you're young, you will find it harder than ever before to own your own home.

But the mission to make Britain a country that works for everyone means more than fighting these injustices. If you're from an ordinary, working-class family, life is much harder than many people in Westminster realise. You have a job but you don't always have job security. You have your own home, but you worry about paying the mortgage. You can just about manage, but you worry about the cost of living and getting your kids into a good school.

If you're one of those families, if you're just managing, I want to address you directly. I know you're working around the clock, I know you're doing your best, and I know that sometimes life can be a struggle. The Government I lead will be driven not by the interests of the privileged few, but by yours. We will do everything we can to give you more control over your lives. When we take the big calls, we'll think not of the powerful but you. When we pass new laws, we'll listen not to the mighty but to you. When it comes to taxes, we'll prioritise not the wealthy but you. When it comes to opportunity, we won't entrench the advantages of the fortunate few. We will do everything we can to help anybody, whatever your background, to go as far as your talents will take you.

We are living through an important moment in our country's history. Following the referendum, we face a time of great national change. And I know, because we're Great Britain, that we will rise to the challenge. As we leave the European Union, we will forge a bold, new, positive role for ourselves in the world. And we will make Britain a country that works not for a privileged few but for every one of us.

That will be the mission of the Government I lead, and together we will build a better Britain. 

Good afternoon. 

When I first stood here in Downing Street on that evening in May 2010, I said we would confront our problems as a country and lead people through difficult decisions so that together we could reach better times. It’s not been an easy journey, and of course we’ve not got every decision right, but I do believe that today our country is much stronger. Above all, it was about turning around the economy, and with the deficit cut by two thirds, two and a half million more people in work and 1 million more businesses, there can be no doubt that our economy is immeasurably stronger. Politicians like to talk about policies, but in the end it is about people's lives. I think of the people, doing jobs who were previously unemployed,

I think of the businesses that were just ideas in someone's head, and that today are making a go of it and providing people with livelihoods.

I think of the hardworking people paying lower taxes and getting high wages because of the first ever national living wage. I think of the children who were languishing in the care system and who’ve now been adopted by loving families. I think of the parents now able to send their children to good and outstanding schools, including free schools, that simply didn’t exist before.

I think of over 200,000 young people who’ve taken part in National Citizen Service, the fastest-growing youth programme of its kind in the world. Something that again wasn’t there six years ago. 

I think of the couples who‘ve been able to get married who weren’t allowed to in the past, and I think of the people on the other side of the world who wouldn’t have had clean drinking water, the chance to go to school or even be alive were it not for our decision to keep our aid promises to the poorest people and the poorest countries in our world. 

And we’ve used our stronger economy to invest in our health service. When I walked in there, there were 18,000 people waiting over a year for their operation, today its just 800. Too many, still too long, but our NHS is a national treasure. And one whose staff perform miracles, as I have seen, every day. And we’ve strengthened our nation's defences, the submarines, destroyers and frigates and soon aircraft carriers, rolling out of our shipyards to keep our country safe in a dangerous world. 

These are the choices and the changes that we’ve made. And I want to thank everyone who has given so much support to me personally over these years. The incredible team at Number 10, the civil servants whose professionalism and impartiality is one of our country's greatest strengths. And my political advisers, some of whom have been with me since the day I stood for my party's leadership 11 years ago. 

I want to thank my children, Nancy, Elwyn and Florence, for whom Downing Street has been a lovely home over these last six years. They sometimes kick the red boxes full of work. Florence, you once claimed into one before a foreign trip and said, "Take me with you". Well no more boxes. And above all I would like to thank Samantha, the love of my life. You have kept me vaguely sane and as well as being an amazing wife, mother and businesswoman, you have done something every week in that building behind me to celebrate the best of voluntary service in our country. 

We will shortly be heading to Buckingham Palace to see Her Majesty, the Queen, where I’ll tender my resignation as Prime Minister. And I will advise Her Majesty to invite Theresa May to form a new administration. I’m delighted that for the second time in British history the new Prime Minister will be a woman, and once again a Conservative.

I believe Theresa will provide strong and stable leadership in fulfilling the Conservative manifesto on which we were elected, and I wish her well in negotiating the best possible terms for Britain's exit from the European Union. Let me finish by saying this. The spirit of service is one of this country's most remarkable qualities. I’ve seen that service be in, day out, in the incredible work of our Armed Forces, our intelligence agencies and our police. It is something I always knew but as Prime Minister you see it so directly that it blows you away. And of course writing those heartbreaking letters to the families who’ve lost loved ones is a poignant reminder of the profound scale of what these men and women give for us in the defence of our freedoms and our way of life. We must never forget that. In a different way, I’ve seen the same spirit of service in the amazing contributions of countless volunteers in communities up and down our country, who are making our society bigger and stronger. And I’m proud that every day for the past two years I have used the office of Prime Minister in a nonpolitical way to recognise and thank almost 600 of them, as points of light whose service can be an inspiration to us all.

For me politics has always been about public service in the national interest. It is simple to say, but often hard to do. But one of the things that sustains you in this job is the sense that, yes, our politics is full of argument and debate and it can get quite heated, but no matter how difficult the decisions are, there’s a great sense of British fair play, a quiet but prevailing sense that most people wish their Prime Minister well, and want them to stick at it and get on with the job, so I want to take this moment to say thank you. To all of those who’ve written letters and e-mails offering me that support. People who I’ll never get to meet and never get to thank personally. 

It has been the greatest honour of my life to serve our country as Prime Minister over these last six years. And to serve as leader of my party for almost 11 years, and as we leave for the last time, my only wish is continued success for this great country that I love so very much. Thank you.

The last thing I would say is that you can achieve a lot of things in politics. You can get a lot of things done. And that in the end, the public service, the national interest - that is what it’s all about. Nothing is really impossible if you put your mind to it. After all as I once said, "I was the future once."

I am honoured and humbled to have been chosen by the Conservative Party to become its leader.

I would like to pay tribute to the other candidates during the election campaign, and I would like to pay tribute to Andrea Leadsom for the dignity that she has shown today.

During this campaign, my case has been based on three things.

First, the need for strong, proven leadership to steer us through what will be difficult and uncertain economic and political times.

The need of course to negotiate the best deal for Britain in leaving the EU and to forge a new role for ourselves in the world.

Brexit means Brexit and we’re going to make a success of it.

Second, we need to unite our country.

And third, we need a strong, new, and positive vision for the future of our country. A vision of a country that works not for the privileged few but works for every one of us.

Because we’re going to give people more control over their lives. That’s how together we will build a better Britain. 

During his campaign for Mayor of London Sadiq Khan made a promise that was clear - I will not increase fares.

And now, just 34 days after the election, Labour's Mayor of London has broken that promise.

Help us hold the Labour Mayor to account by sharing this to get the word out about Khan's broken promise.

The Queen delivered a One Nation Queen’s Speech from a One Nation Government. With the strengthening economy moving in the right direction, we can be ambitious in our plans to deliver for the hardworking people of Britain.

Strengthening our national security to keep our country safe is the first duty of Government. We cannot extend opportunity or help working people if our country is not safe. So this is a Queen’s speech that invests in Britain’s armed forces, honouring our NATO commitment to spend two per cent of GDP on defence. To support global stability and prevent new threats to our security, we will also meet our commitment on international development spending. And in an ever more dangerous and unstable world, where the threats to our country are increasing not diminishing, we will secure the long-term future of our nuclear deterrent and give our security and intelligence agencies the powers they need to keep us safe.

Bill of Rights

This Bill will support and reinforce Britain’s long-standing commitment to human rights and restore common sense to the way human rights law is applied. It will include:

  • Measures to reform and modernise the UK human rights framework.
  • Protections against abuse of the system and misuse of human rights laws.

Counter-Extremism and Safeguarding Bill

This Bill gives law enforcement agencies new powers to protect vulnerable people – including children – from those who seek to brainwash them with extremism propaganda so we build a stronger society around our shared liberal values of tolerance and respect. It will include:

  • Stronger powers to disrupt extremists and protect the public.
  • Powers to intervene in intensive unregulated education settings which teach hate and drive communities apart.
  • A new civil order regime to restrict extremist activity, following consultation.

Criminal Finances Bill

This Bill will cement the UK’s leading role in the fight against international corruption crack down on money laundering and people profiting from crime, so that we root out corruption. It will include:

  • Measures to reform proceeds of crime legislation to allow the Government to recoup more illicit income.
  • A new criminal offence for corporations that fail to stop staff facilitating tax evasion.
  • New rules to toughen the UK’s anti-money laundering regime.

Policing and Crime Bill

This Bill is the next phase in our reform of the police, reforming out-of-date complaints and disciplinary procedures, so we increase public confidence in the people who keep us safe. It will include:

  • A new duty to collaborate on all three emergency services, to improve efficiency and effectiveness.
  • New authority for chief officers to designate wider powers on police staff and volunteers, so they can make best use of their workforce.
  • A stronger oversight role for PCCs over local complaints, giving them an explicit responsibility for ensuring the effective and efficient delivery of the local police complaints system, and extending HM Inspector of Constabulary’s remit to enable it to inspect private contractors.

Investigatory Powers Bill

This Bill will fill holes in our security apparatus so that we give law enforcement agencies the tools they need to protect the public in the digital age, while building confidence in the public that powers are operated sensibly. It includes:

  • Plugging gaps in the abilities of law enforcement agencies to monitor people’s online communications when investigating crime or terrorism.
  • Tough new safeguards for the use of investigatory powers.
  • Establishing a world-leading oversight regime of law enforcement agencies and the security services.

This is our legislative programme: to give working people security in their personal and professional lives; to increase the live chances for the most disadvantaged in our society; and to strengthen our national security to keep us all safer. We’ve set challenging, but achievable goals, using the strong foundations of our economy to make a series of bold choices that will improve lives across the country. It is a One Nation Queen’s speech from a progressive, One Nation, Conservative Government.

The Queen delivered a One Nation Queen’s Speech from a One Nation Government. With the strengthening economy moving in the right direction, we can be ambitious in our plans to deliver for the hardworking people of Britain.

Increasing life chances for the most disadvantaged is at the heart of this Queen’s Speech. We will carry out bold reforms that tackle some of the deepest social problems in our country and remove all barriers to opportunity. Giving children in care the best possible start in life by tackling state failure, so children in care are not doomed to a life of poverty. There are reforms to schools, so excellence that comes with more teacher freedom is spread to every community. There is an expansion of higher education, so just as we uncapped the number of student places we now encourage the new universities that will help educate the next generation. And because this Government sees the potential in everyone, we will finally undertake the long-overdue change that our prisons need. No longer will they be warehouses for criminals; we want them to be incubators of changed and reformed lives. This is a Queen’s speech aimed at giving everyone in our country the chance to get on.

Children and Social Work Bill

This Bill aims to tackle state failure and transform the outcomes of children in care, so that we give all of them the hope of a better life. It will include:

  • Changes to the considerations that courts must take into account in adoption decisions, tipping the balance in favour of permanent adoption where that is the right thing for the child - helping to give children stability.
  • A new system of regulating social workers by setting up a specialist regulator for the profession with a clear focus on driving improvement and introducing more demanding professional standards.
  • A new statutory ‘care leavers covenant’ to make sure local authorities set out clearly their entitlements – including housing, jobs and healthcare.

Education for All Bill

This Bill is the next phase of our transformation of education, extending the principles of freedom and accountability across the country so that we encourage excellence everywhere and give every child the best start in life. It will include:

  • New laws to expand the academies programme in the poorest performing local authority areas.
  • A new funding formula to deliver fair funding for every school and pupil in the country.
  • Measures to make schools accountable for the provision and progress of excluded pupils so that those currently let down by the system are given an excellent education.

Higher Education and Research Bill

This Bill introduces the biggest supply-side reforms to the higher education sector for a quarter of a century, so that we open more universities and give more young people - from all backgrounds – the opportunity to go to university. It will include:

  • Measures to make it easier for new high quality universities to open, boosting competition to improve teaching quality.
  • Reform of university funding that will link funding for universities to the quality of teaching rather than student numbers, with graduate employment prospects tracked so students can be sure they are getting value for money.
  • New requirements on all universities to publish detailed information about application, offer and progression rates, broken down by ethnicity, gender and socio-economic background. This will shine a spotlight on universities that need to go further and faster on social mobility and spur further action to ensure all institutions reach out to reach out to disadvantaged groups.

Prisons and Courts Reform Bill

This Bill represents the biggest reform of our prisons since Victorian times, ensuring they are not just a place of punishment but also rehabilitation, so everyone has the chance to get on the right track and we show as a society we believe in the best in everyone. It will include:

  • New powers for Prison Governors to allow them unprecedented levels of control over all aspects of prison management.
  • A complete overhaul of education, health and training to improve the life chances of every offender.
  • New performance measures to assess prisons’ current performance, long-term direction and progress.

Lifetime Savings Bill

This Bill helps people to save and make plans for the future, so we build the financial resilience and security of people across the country – especially the young and those on low incomes. It will include:

  • The new Help to Save scheme, which will help those from low incomes build up their savings. Workers in receipt of working tax credits or Universal Credit who save up to £50 a month receiving a Government bonus of 50% - to a maximum of £600 – after two years.
  • A new Lifetime ISA for young people, with a Government top up bonus of 25% on all savings up to £4,000 a year.

National Citizen Service Bill

This Bill will see the expansion of the Government’s hugely successful National Citizen Service so more young people can mix with people of other backgrounds, and learn what it means to serve their community. It will include:

  • A new statutory framework to deliver the programme, which will benefit from a £1.2 billion cash injection.
  • A new duty on schools and local authorities to promote the scheme to all young people and their parents.

This is our legislative programme: to give working people security in their personal and professional lives; to increase the live chances for the most disadvantaged in our society; and to strengthen our national security to keep us all safer. We’ve set challenging, but achievable goals, using the strong foundations of our economy to make a series of bold choices that will improve lives across the country. It is a One Nation Queen’s speech from a progressive, One Nation, Conservative Government.

The Queen delivered a One Nation Queen’s Speech from a One Nation Government. With the strengthening economy moving in the right direction, we can be ambitious in our plans to deliver for the hardworking people of Britain.

Security for working people is the next step in our long-term economic plan for our country. Whether it is continuing to bring the public finances under control so that Britain lives within its means or delivering the infrastructure that British business needs to carry on creating jobs. To help create jobs, we will make our country a world leader in the digital economy, with new obligations on broadband providers to make sure everyone in Britain has access to an affordable high speed internet connection. To back business, we will make sure Britain has first-class infrastructure, especially when it comes to the transport of the future. To support aspiration and promote home ownership, we will meet our commitment to build a million new homes across the country by reforming planning. And because we want to make sure every part of our country shares in our rising prosperity, we will legislate for a dramatic devolution of power to local areas, giving them complete control over business rate revenues to use as they wish to stimulate economic growth.

Digital Economy Bill

This Bill will modernise our climate for enterprise, making sure Britain remains at the forefront of the global 21st century economy so that our businesses continue to create jobs and our families remain financially secure. It will include:

  • Giving every household a legal right to a fast broadband connection.
  • New laws to help telecommunications providers build the infrastructure needed for faster broadband and better mobile networks.
  • Allowing consumers to be automatically compensated when things go wrong with their broadband service.
  • Closing loopholes so that Ofcom can continue to protect consumers who watch internet-streamed television content from outside the EU on Freeview.

Modern Transport Bill

This Bill will put Britain at the forefront of the modern transport revolution, so that we create new jobs and fuel economic growth around the country. It will include:

  • Legislation to enable the future development of the UK’s first commercial spaceports.
  • New laws to make the UK ready to pioneer driverless cars.
  • New rules to bring safe commercial and personal drone flight for households and businesses a step closer.

Neighbourhood Planning and Infrastructure Bill

This Bill will reform planning and give local communities more power and control to shape their own area so that we build more houses and give everyone who works hard the chance to buy their own home. It will include:

  • Measures to reform and speed up the planning process by minimising delays caused by pre-commencement planning conditions.
  • A new statutory basis for the independent National Infrastructure Commission, to help invest in Britain’s long-term future.
  • Streamlined processes supporting neighbourhoods to come together to agree plans that will decide where things get built in their local area.

Local Growth and Jobs Bill

This Bill is the biggest change in local finance for decades, giving local authorities full control of the money they raise through business rates, so they can attract business and investment to their local areas. It will include:

  • A transfer of up to £13 billion to councils through allowing them to retain 100% of the business rates they collect.
  • New measures to allow combined authority mayors to levy business rate supplements in order to fund infrastructure projects where there is the support of local business.

This is our legislative programme: to give working people security in their personal and professional lives; to increase the live chances for the most disadvantaged in our society; and to strengthen our national security to keep us all safer. We’ve set challenging, but achievable goals, using the strong foundations of our economy to make a series of bold choices that will improve lives across the country. It is a One Nation Queen’s speech from a progressive, One Nation, Conservative Government.