Blair plans to win back party with a 'real Labour' agenda in Queen's Speech

Tony Blair will try to win back disaffected Labour supporters and MPs by pursuing a "real Labour" agenda in the Government's legislative programme for the next session of Parliament.

In an attempt to draw a line under the Hutton inquiry and the Iraq war, the Prime Minister wants to see the Queen's Speech on 26 November dominated by Bills on issues that reflect the concerns of the electorate. He hopes the programme will enable his Government to "reconnect" with disenchanted Labour voters, party members and MPs.

The programme for what is likely to be the final full parliamentary session before the next general election is now being finalised by the Cabinet but the details have been obtained by The Independent.

Measures designed to raise Labour morale include tackling the "wealth gap" between rich and poor by setting up a child trust fund worth up to £500 for every newborn baby. Ministers will also enforce a ban on fox hunting in England and Wales by using the Parliament Act to override opposition in the House of Lords to the Hunting Bill.

The Government will trumpet its commitment to equality in the community by giving gay and lesbian couples new rights over pensions, inheritance tax, property, social security and benefits. A separate measure will give legal recognition to transsexuals.

Bills on "bread and butter" issues will include a crackdown on child abuse and protection for employees' pensions when company schemes fold.

The Home Office will bring in a Bill to give new rights to crime victims and witnesses and make it easier to bring prosecutions for cases of domestic violence. Loopholes in the rules on asylum will be closed to stop refugees who destroy their documents remaining in Britain.

Aides denied yesterday that the Prime Minister was diluting his commitment to reform. The Queen's Speech will include the plan to allow universities to charge top-up fees of £3,000 a year, which could be defeated unless the Government makes concessions.

Mr Blair faced tough questions on the plan when he attended the weekly meeting of Labour MPs yesterday. He told his critics there was no "cost free option", but acknowledged there were divisions within the party on the issue.

The Queen's Speech will also include details of a Bill to reform the fire service, which will implement the Bain report on working practices drawn up during the long pay dispute.

There will be sweeping changes to the legal and judicial system, including the formation of a Supreme Court and the abolition of the Lord Chancellor's post.

Lord Falconer of Thoroton, the Constitutional Affairs Secretary, will announce today that the 90 remaining hereditary peers will lose their right to sit and vote in the Lords, and that a statutory appointments commission will appoint new peers. But there will be no provision for any members to be elected.

A Planning Bill will include reforms aimed at bringing the housing market into line with the Continent's, part of Mr Blair's drive to help the Government to meet its five tests for joining the euro. A draft Referendum Bill setting out the form and question of a euro referendum is also expected.

As currently drafted, the list of Bills does not include David Blunkett's plan to bring in identity cards, which has run into opposition inside the Cabinet. The Home Secretary is mounting a last-minute push for his proposals to be included in the Queen's Speech.

The Cabinet agreed last week to refer the issue to its Domestic Affairs Committee. Some ministers are worried about the cost, estimates of which range from £1.5bn to £2.4bn.

Another Bill will update outdated emergency powers and anti-terrorist laws.

In an attempt to rally his backbenchers yesterday, the Prime Minister told them: "We have a progressive project for a fairer country, on track to deliver. We need to show what we have done, what we will do to build a modern, stronger, fairer country."

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