Boris Johnson to hold fast-tracked Queen's Speech before Christmas if Tories win general election

If Jeremy Corbyn wins the election it will be up to his administration to set timetable

Ashley Cowburn
Political Correspondent
Monday 25 November 2019 13:28 GMT
General Election 2019: Opinion polls over the last seven days

The Queen’s Speech will be fast-tracked and held before Christmas if Boris Johnson wins the general election, as he seeks to ram through his Brexit deal within weeks.

Downing Street said a session of the new parliament will be held on Tuesday 17 December if there is no change in government, allowing time for the traditional swearing-in of new MPs.

Two days later, the government will then hold a Queen’s Speech – setting out the prime minister’s policy agenda and marking the start of a new parliamentary year.

If Jeremy Corbyn wins the election and there is a change of government, however, it will be for the new Labour administration to set out its own timetable.

It was not clear whether a meaningful vote will be held before Christmas, but Mr Johnson said last week it would be his “present to the nation” to bring back the Brexit withdrawal bill before the festive break.

“As families sit down to carve up their turkeys this Christmas, I want them to enjoy their festive-season free from the seemingly unending Brexit box-set drama,” the prime minister said.

It will be the second time in just three months the Queen has been requested to address MPs and peers, after delivering a speech setting out Mr Johnson’s vision for government in September.

But Downing Street made clear December’s event would be a stripped-down affair with “reduced ceremonial elements”.

The speed of the plan put forward by the incumbent prime minister for a Queen’s Speech is highly unusual. In 2015, after David Cameron won a majority, there was a 20-day period before the monarch addressed parliament and a 13-day period after Theresa May’s snap general election.

Downing Street said: “Should this prime minister return, the state opening of parliament and the Queen’s Speech will follow on Thursday 19 December.

“The state opening of parliament will take place with reduced ceremonial elements, as was the case following the early general election in 2017. This is due both to the early general election and the proximity of the state opening to Christmas.

“If there is a change of government following the election it is anticipated that the Queen’s Speech would be in January on a more usual timetable, but this would be a matter for the incoming administration.”

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