Ms Oona King (Bethnal Green and Bow): I am honoured to follow such a commendable speech by the hon. Member for Gainsborough (Mr. Leigh). I welcome the honesty of the speeches that have been made from both sides of the House. The hon. Gentleman said that we must view the matter in terms of what is happening in the real world. Regardless of whether we like change, it has happened. My hon. Friend the Member for Rochdale (Lorna Fitzsimons) and I were both 29 when we were elected to the House, and we can tell hon. Members, in case they had not noticed, that life for our generation has changed beyond recognition. The hon. Member for Altrincham and Sale, West (Mr. Brady) is not so much beyond our age group.

Ms Oona King (Bethnal Green and Bow): I speak in this debate to represent the people of the east end who, as the whole country knows, held the Queen Mother in great affection. I shall speak not about what the Queen Mother inherited or passed on, but what the Queen Mother merited. She merited respect, and nowhere is that respect greater than in my constituency - land of the pearly kings and queens who were inspired by the sparkling monarch who picked her way through the rubble.

Ms Oona King (Bethnal Green and Bow): I thank the hon. Member for Tatton (Mr. Osborne) for shortening his speech to allow me to contribute to this important debate on policing. I will devote my remarks to the good news, the bad news, the root causes and the solutions, and I have about 40 seconds for each. The good news is that Tower Hamlets has less crime than other inner city boroughs with less deprivation. The best news is that Tower Hamlets has been allocated an extra 147 police officers. That is an increase of 25%, which reflects the fact that ours was the most under-resourced borough in London. Other elements of good news include estate wardens and the reduction in reported crimes related to drugs, criminal damage and residential burglary.

Ms Oona King (Bethnal Green and Bow): I am delighted and relieved to have secured this debate on speech and language therapy provision, because, since my election in 1997, I have met many families who are waging a war with the system, trying to get their children the treatment that they need. I have asked for this debate to explain directly to the Minister the frustration and injustice that many of my constituents feel.

They believe, and I agree, that their children's education and life chances are being irreparably damaged because they cannot access speech and language therapy. I would like to set out the importance of speech and language therapy, which has a basic objective: to enable people to communicate. Without effective communication, people are excluded; not just from a social conversation, but from their families, their school environment and society. If children cannot communicate properly, they cannot be educated properly.

The only time I gave a speech to an entirely packed House of Commons was when I had the honour of seconding the Queens speech. Half of the cabinet wrote to me to tell me it was a great speech, and at the risk of sounding like a megalomaniac I wouldn't disagree...

Ms Oona King (Bethnal Green and Bow): I second the motion. It is a particular pleasure to follow my right hon. Friend the Member for Carrick, Cumnock and Doon Valley (Mr. Foulkes). 

Tony Worthington (Clydebank and Milngavie): Well said.

Ms King: I was coming to that. I have taken some time in preparing my speech, most of it spent practising saying the name of my right hon. Friend's constituency.