I am here. We are investing almost £600 million in Birmingham and the west midlands for the 2022 Commonwealth games, which will deliver a world-class event and provide a wide range of services, including safety and security, health services, traffic management, visas, customs and inspection provisions, creating 30,000 games-time employment opportunities in the process. We are working hard to ensure that the games leave a lasting legacy for the city, the region and the country.
In this platinum jubilee year, the Birmingham Commonwealth games will give us the perfect opportunity to celebrate Her Majesty’s enduring and dutiful commitment throughout her reign to maintaining relationships throughout the Commonwealth. I have had first-hand experience of that through my work with the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association. Does the Secretary of State agree that the Commonwealth games will give us a global stage to remind our friends and allies of the continued importance of strong relationships between like-minded nations?
That is a very good point and reiterates what I said earlier. This is the year of the Queen’s platinum jubilee as well as of the Commonwealth games and the women’s Euro 2022. It is a year for the whole of the UK to come together to celebrate everything that the UK has to offer and to enjoy events such as the Commonwealth games. In this year of all years, at such a difficult time in the world, upholding the Commonwealth’s shared values, the development of free and democratic societies and the promotion of peace and prosperity are more important than ever.