MPs return to Parliament for first sitting since general election

Tuesday, December 17, 2019

MPs have returned to the House of Commons for the new parliamentary session followingthe general election, with 140 new faces sitting for the first time.

The opening of Parliament followed the traditional process of Black Rod, a role carried out by Sarah Clarke, knocking on the door of the Chamber.

Sir Peter Bottomley has been appointed Father of the House after Kenneth Clarke stepped down as MP after nearly 40 years in the Commons.

Sir Peter conducted the re-election of Sir Lindsay Hoyle as Speaker of the House, who was initially selected for the role by MPs at the end of the last session following John Bercow’s departure.

Boris Johnson stood to thunderous applause from his majority Conservative benches as he addressed the newly formed House.

He said the new Parliament was a “vast improvement” on the last, praising the fact that there are now more women and black and ethnic minority MPs than ever before.

He pushed his campaign promise to “get Brexit done” and called on members to “reach out across the House, to find common ground, to heal the divisions of our country and to find a new and generous spirit in which we conduct all our political dealings”.

Jeremy Corbyn then took to the dispatch box following Labour’s defeat and vowed to “hold the government to account” on the “many, many promises” made on the campaign trail.

Both the Prime Minister and the leader of the opposition opened their speeches by paying tribute Jack Merritt and Saskia Jones, who were stabbed to death in the London Bridge terror attack during the election campaign.

All members will now be officially sworn into office.

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