Scarborough receives national attention as Sir Robert Goodwill opens debate on King’s speech

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Scarborough and Whitby received national attention from the prime minister as MP Sir Robert Goodwill opened parliament’s debate on the King’s speech

Opening parliament’s debate on the King’s speech – which set out Government policy for the months ahead – on Tuesday, November 7 Sir Robert Goodwill MP gave Scarborough and Whitby a prominent place in his speech.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and leader of the opposition Sir Keir Starmer, also spoke about Scarborough in response to the light-hearted opening speech which received similar responses from Mr Sunak and Sir Keir.

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Speaking in parliament, Sir Robert said: “Scarborough and Whitby has to be the best constituency in the country.

Sir Robert Goodwill MP with Rishi Sunak.Sir Robert Goodwill MP with Rishi Sunak.
Sir Robert Goodwill MP with Rishi Sunak.

“Of course, Mr Speaker, it has a head start by being in Yorkshire.”

Sir Robert, who will be retiring at the next election, has been MP for Scarborough and Whitby since 2005.

He addressed the history of the coastal constituency: “The arrival of the railways created Scarborough as our first seaside destination, and we are still Britain’s premier coastal resort and second only to London for the number of visitors.

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“In fact, there could be more if some of the £36 billion recouped from HS2 could be redeployed on dualling the A64.”

Sir Robert GoodwillSir Robert Goodwill
Sir Robert Goodwill

The speech also had a more serious note, as the MP welcomed proposed Government legislation: “I certainly welcome the bills that have been announced. In particular, I would like to see convicted criminals attend their sentencing. Life for some of the most severe crimes must mean life.”

Responding to the speech, Sir Keir Starmer, leader of the Labour Party, congratulated the MP for his speech and said that “Sir Robert Goodwill once again showed us his deep love for his constituency and delivered a truly great speech”.

Sir Keir added: “I can inform the House that he is also one of this country’s leading steam engine enthusiasts and the proud owner of a Fowler K5 ploughing engine, which is not a tractor, but is nonetheless a beautiful machine that on a good day, when he really steps on it, can still give the TransPennine Express a run for its money.”

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Prime minister Rishi Sunak also thanked Sir Robert for his speech and for his service in parliament.

Sir Keir Starmer, official portrait. Sir Keir Starmer, official portrait.
Sir Keir Starmer, official portrait.

Speaking of Sir Robert, Mr Sunak said: “My right hon. Friend is probably the only Member of this House who is the proud owner of his own graveyard.

“Apparently, he even does some of the digging himself.”

He added: “No wonder he is such a staunch supporter of the Government’s plan to protect renters: he fully supports the right of his tenants to be left undisturbed over the very long long-term.”