LORD Chancellor Robert Buckland carried out a crucial task during the pomp and ceremony of the Queen's Speech in Parliament.

The justice secretary and south Swindon MP spoke to the Adver about the moments he handed the Queen her speech from the royal purse and collected it from Her Majesty after she finished reading it out to the crowd of assembled dignitaries and politicians.

Mr Buckland said: “It was very nerve-wracking - you don't want to mess it up or fall over - but it was a great honour to be part of the ceremony and an honour for Swindon.

"This was a historic occasion and ceremony, loaded with important symbolism, so it's a wonderful thing to have done that."

The speech itself included plans for extensive reforms to to the justice system and proposals for railway reform being put forward.

Mr Buckland added: "It's a very bold and ambitious program for government. The law and order measures are key policies of reform that I have advocated for based on issues that matter to residents and that I'm going to spearhead.

"This includes Helen's Law, in which criminals refusing to reveal information is taken into consideration when deciding whether to release them, and increased sentences for sex offenders.

"The railway changes are based on recommendations made at the end of a root and branch review of the current system. I hope it leads to improvements in quality and value for money in railway services to and from Swindon.

"We do not have a majority so MPs can support this bold agenda or reject it and block Brexit. That would not be in the national interest. I want to see progress made on all these reforms ASAP."

Rail Delivery Group chief executive Paul Plummer said: “The industry welcomes the government’s firm commitment to take forward the recommendations of the Williams Review, particularly its focus on fares and contract reform.

“Both are key to a new partnership between the public and private sectors in rail that delivers more for passengers and the country.

“We agree that decisions about trains should be brought closer to home and are pleased government plans to reform the regulations that underpin fares to enable greater local control.”

Labour’s prospective Parliamentary candidate for south Swindon Sarah Church was not impressed by what the speech outlined.

She said: “It’s hard to take seriously a legislative agenda from a government begging to be dissolved. It’s a cynical pre-election stunt by a government that has, by its own admission, no desire to continue.

“This list of plans centred heavily on playing to what the Tories think we want but as ever without finding out what actually works. No mention of improvements to social care - an issue that comes up time and again on the doorstep. Nothing for local government to fight shamefully-rising levels of homelessness, nothing for schools.

“This looked like what it is - and uncosted pre-election party political broadcast transmitted via the Queen.”