Page last updated at 16:08 GMT, Wednesday, 9 May 2012 17:08 UK

Miliband bemoans 'no hope' Queen's Speech

Opposition leader Ed Miliband has dismissed the government's legislative programme as offering "no hope" to people suffering as a consequence of the "recession made in Downing Street".

On 9 May 2012, as MPs embarked on five days of debate on the contents of the Queen's Speech, Mr Miliband demanded: "Isn't it time that this government stopped governing for the few and listening to the many?"

He said: "For a family whose living standards are being squeezed, this speech offers nothing.

"For the millions of people who think the government is not on their side, this speech offers nothing."

He said the government had created "the worst unemployment for 16 years, a million young people out of work and the first double-dip recession for 37 years".

He concluded: "No change, no hope - that is the real message of this Queen's Speech."

Prime Minister David Cameron responded by saying that the government was taking "tough" decisions to "restore our country to strength".

He also launched a strong defence of plans to allow British intelligence agencies greater access to e-mail and internet communications data, telling MPs it was a necessary move in the fight against terrorism.

Mr Cameron listed the government's priorities: "Dealing with the deficit, rebalancing the economy, and building a society that rewards people who work hard and do the right thing."

The debate was opened by a relative newcomer to the Commons, Conservative MP Nadhim Zahawi, and Lib Dem veteran Malcolm Bruce.

Traditionally, the two MPs opening the debate are expected to make light-hearted speeches, without dwelling in detail on the contents of the Queen's Speech, proposing and seconding a "loyal address" thanking the Queen for delivering the speech.

But Mr Zahawi and Mr Bruce made plain their differing positions on the benefits of reforming the House of Lords.

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