For our society to meet successfully the huge challenges before us, we will need all our talents and all our contributions. That is not simply a good intention - it is the most profound good sense.

Ladies and Gentlemen, I particularly wanted to thank Lord Woolley for his unbelievably warm welcome here at Homerton, (where I have caused, I’m afraid, mammoth disruption to the normal smooth working of this remarkable operation) and for the opportunity to see all the marvellous work that is taking place here. 

If I may say so, it really is inspiring to hear, at first-hand, which I have done briefly, of all the initiatives that are taking place – such as the Changemakers who are being prepared to provide the visionary, selfless leadership that we so desperately need. It has been splendid, too, to meet those who have done so much to ensure that students and staff were kept safe during the pandemic. They very much deserve our warmest appreciation.

And, Ladies and Gentlemen, I could not be more pleased to hear about the excellent work being carried out to promote greater inclusion and diversity. As Lord Woolley knows, this is a subject which has always been close to my heart, and which I have sought to take forward, and to support, as much as possible much of my life. 

For our society to meet successfully the huge challenges before us, we will need all our talents and all our contributions. That is not simply a good intention - it is the most profound good sense. I have said before that our diversity is our greatest strength, and I become ever more convinced of that truth as time goes by and as I see fresh examples of that principle - as I do so clearly here today. 

So, Ladies and Gentlemen, I simply want to congratulate Lord Woolley for the leadership he is showing, and to wish him, and all of you every possible success as you seek to build a society which works for all our people.