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King’s Speech to be delayed until the autumn

No 10 said the current parliamentary session was being extended to ensure the Government could get through its legislative programme.

Gavin Cordon
Thursday 15 December 2022 13:30 GMT
Charles delivered the 2022 Queen’s Speech on behalf of his mother (Alastair Grant/PA)
Charles delivered the 2022 Queen’s Speech on behalf of his mother (Alastair Grant/PA)

The King’s Speech setting out the Government’s next programme of legislation is to be delayed until the autumn of next year, Downing Street has said.

The Prime Minister’s official spokesman said the current parliamentary session – which had been expected to run to May – was being extended to ensure the Government could get through its “packed” agenda.

The Government has a number of major pieces of legislation – including the Bill of Rights, the Retained EU Law Bill and the Online Safety Bill – still progressing through Parliament.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak also announced plans earlier this week for a new Bill – to be introduced early next year – to prevent people arriving in the UK illegally from claiming asylum.

If they fail to complete all their stages by the end of the current session, they will have to be reintroduced in the new session.

With a number of measures facing significant opposition – not least in the House of Lords – ministers will hope the delay will ensure they have sufficient time to deal with them.

The Prime Minister’s spokesman said: “The programme is very full and to make sure we have the time we need to get through the packed agenda the Prime Minister wants to deliver, the session will run until autumn 2023.”

Meanwhile, the spokesman said proposed legislation to limit strike action on public transport was being “paused” while ministers considered broadening its scope.

It follows reports that the Transport Strikes (Minimum Service Levels) Bill could be widened to include emergency service workers.

“Essentially we’ve paused that Bill and are looking at adding additional measures to it to widen its scope,” the spokesman said.

Next year’s State Opening of Parliament will be the first time that Charles delivers the speech in his own right as monarch.

He read out this year’s Queen’s Speech on behalf of his mother as she was unable to attend due to poor health.

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