"Watching the family rushing to the bedside of the gravely ill Queen yesterday will have brought back traumatic memories for many of us who have received the heart-stopping call with news of the imminent death of a loved one. As we remember the Queen’s 70 years of dedication and loyal service, we first pay our respects to a grieving family; they have lost a mother, a grandmother, a great-grandmother and a friend who was very special—and so has our country.
This is a profoundly sad moment for the UK, the Commonwealth and the world. Our Queen Elizabeth II is an icon throughout the world, who makes our nation proud. She earned our respect and embodied all that is good about public service, duty, fortitude and diligence. Her reassuring presence, her dignity and constancy, especially in times of discord, bound us in a way that we may only be about to understand. She has been a role model for the ages. I pay tribute to her remarkable life’s work; the legacy she leaves and the lives she has touched will echo through the ages.
It was a delight to see our community come together for the jubilee celebrations. The outpouring of love was heartfelt and enduring. The days and months ahead will be very difficult. May we come together in peace, kindness and respect as we remember our Queen and prepare for the next chapter in our nation’s history. On behalf of the people of Bedford and Kempston, thank you, Ma’am, and long live the King."