News

Queen’s Speech: Prince Charles sets out Boris Johnson’s plan for the year

Boris Johnson leaves Downing Street this morning ahead of a pivotal day in his premiership (Picture: PA)

The government has set out its agenda for the next year as Boris Johnson attempts to reset his flagging premiership and deliver on manifesto promises.

With the country emerging from the Covid-19 crisis, the prime minister is eyeing a bumper 12 months and hopes to use his majority to ram through a stack of legislation.

The government unveiled 38 new bills at the state opening of parliament, with measures on crime, education and scrapping remaining EU rules at the core of the programme.

Prince Charles delivered the speech on behalf of the Queen, who pulled out last night amid ongoing health problems, making this the first State Opening of Parliament she has missed since 1963.

Ahead of the speech, the prime minister vowed to ‘get our country back on track and ensure that we deliver on the promises we made’ when the Tories swept to power in 2019.

Mr Johnson is under pressure from within his own party to capitalise on the government’s advantage in the Commons with a general election due within the next two years.

He has seen his popularity tumble over the last 12 months, with revelations about parties in Downing Street and the Owen Paterson affair weakening his position in the country and the Conservative party.

With speculation swirling that the PM might favour calling an early poll next summer, this Queen’s Speech may represent his last chance to make good on the pledges that saw him storm into Number 10 two-and-a-half years ago.

Charles and Camilla arrive for the ceremony, filling in for the Queen (Picture: i-Images)
The Queen’s crown was in attendance but the monarch was not, for the first time almost 60 years (Picture: Getty)

Opposition parties have called on the government to announced funding to help families with the cost of living crisis but the Treasury is reluctant to stretch the public finances any further, with few practical measures included in the programme.

In a statement released prior to the speech, Mr Johnson said: ‘While we must keep our public finances on a sustainable footing – and we cannot completely shield people from the fallout from global events – where we can help, we will. 

‘And over the coming months we will continue examining what more we can do to ease the pressures on hard-working people and families. 

‘From the moment I became prime minister, my mission has been to deliver for the British people. 


MORE :
Keir Starmer ‘may have face-to-face police interview’ over beergate

‘Over the remainder of this parliament, this government will work night and day to ensure we do just that.’

He will hope that populist measures on introducing an independent regulator for football, cracking down on school truancy and ‘seizing the opportunities of Brexit’ will regain the trust of voters turned off by the partygate scandal.

MPs packed into the House of Lords to listen to Charles detail the year’s legislative schedule, which was packed with red meat for Tory loyalists and measures designed to target voters in former Labour strongholds.

The prime minister and leader of the opposition Sir Keir Starmer entered the House of Lords together
The speaker of the House of Commons leads MPs to the House of Lords to hear the speech

The government will introduce its long awaited ‘levelling up’ bill, giving councils the power to evict landlords from empty shops, overhauling the planning system and aiming to roll out devolved powers to all areas of England by 2030. 

Other measures targeted at constituencies in the north include provisions to expand HS2 to connect Manchester and Crewe, while a transport bill will set up a new body, Great British Railways, in a bid to speed up rail improvements and boost the performance of private rail franchises. 

No-fault evictions will be scrapped and a new ombudsman for renters will be set up under a new housing bill.

Public order legislation will crack down on environmental groups by banning protests targeting roads and critical infrastructure, while also outlawing the practice of demonstrators gluing or locking themselves to things.

On national security, a new law will target ‘state-backed sabotage, foreign interference, the theft of trade secrets and assisting a foreign intelligence service’, as well as forcing people working for other governments and operating in the UK to register.

Rules carried over from the UK’s membership of the European Union due to be scrapped include regulations covering data reform, gene-editing and financial services, which the government says will give UK more flexibility to complete on the world stage.

More controversial measures on privatising Channel 4, introducing a ban on conversion therapy which omits protections for trans people, changing how Troubles-era prosecutions are dealt with and stopping public institutions from launching boycotts will also be introduced this year.

Get in touch with our news team by emailing us at webnews@metro.co.uk.

For more stories like this, check our news page.



Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.