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On the first meeting of Parliament after State Opening, two Members of the House of Lords move that a humble address be presented to the Queen as an expression of thanks for the ‘Most Gracious Speech’ that had been addressed to both Houses of Parliament. The two Members are chosen by the Leader of the House and each delivers a speech which by custom is uncontroversial. Convention has it that the first speech is delivered by a long-standing Member (known as the ‘mover’) and it is seconded by a newer Member (known as the ‘seconder’). Both Members are government backbenchers. When these speeches have concluded, the House debates the legislative programme that was presented in the Queen’s Speech. The debates on the Queen’s Speech are the first main item of business of each new parliamentary session.

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