On Thursday evening, Buckingham Palace announced the death of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.
As a mark of our respect, the Labour Party immediately suspended all meetings and campaigning.
Our thoughts are all with the Royal Family. We are keenly aware that there is a family in mourning at this time, and as we extend our condolences, we will all want to be as respectful in what we say and do as we would if it were our own family.
Beyond the Royal Family, we are a nation in mourning.
Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II has been the British monarch for my entire lifetime, and I’m sure the lifetimes of many readers too.
She served with distinction as Queen for longer than a quarter of the lifespan of the nation of the United States of America, seeing in 14 Prime Ministers, and dedicating her entire life to public service.
I and my colleague Cllr Carmen Appich, co-leader of the opposition, along with the other political party leaders across Brighton and Hove, put out the following statement:
“We join with people around the world in noting with sadness the announcement from the Palace. Queen Elizabeth II was our country’s longest reigning monarch and has shown remarkable dedication as the head of state over many decades.
“The Queen succeeded to the throne before any of the four of us were born and that’s true for most residents in our city. This is a historic moment that people will look back on, remembering when and where they heard the news.
“Queen Elizabeth II has given a life of dedication and service. As elected politicians, we recognise many people will be saddened by the news and wish to pay their respects.
“On behalf of Brighton and Hove, we send our condolences to the Royal Family and all who are affected by this sad news.”
Meanwhile, national Labour Party leader, Sir Keir Starmer, said the following: “Today we mourn the passing of a remarkable sovereign.
“It is a deep, private loss for the Royal Family and all our thoughts are with them at this time. The nation shares in their grief.
“We will always treasure Queen Elizabeth II’s life of service and devotion to our nation and the Commonwealth; our longest-serving and greatest monarch.
“Above the clashes of politics, she stood not for what the nation fought over, but what it agreed upon. As Britain changed rapidly around her, this dedication became the still point of our turning world.
“So as our great Elizabethan era comes to an end, we will honour the late Queen’s memory by keeping alive the values of public service she embodied.
“For 70 years, Queen Elizabeth II stood as the head of our country. But, in spirit, she stood among us.”
Our condolences and thoughts are with the Royal Family, and all those feeling the loss of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. Our country will miss her unwavering sense of public duty.
Councillor John Allcock is the joint leader of the Labour opposition on Brighton and Hove City Council.
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