Queen's speech delay an 'utter humiliation', says Tim Farron

'It's time to stop trying to cling to power,' says Lib Dem leader

Election fallout: Queen's speech could be delayed

The delay the Government faces in giving the Queen's Speech is an "utter humiliation" for Theresa May, Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron has said.

The event, during which the government announces laws it hopes to have approved over the coming year, was scheduled to take place on Monday 19 June.

However, sources said the speech had to be delayed while the Prime Minister continued discussions with the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) about how it would prop-up her minority government.

Newly-appointed first secretary of state Damian Green said he could not confirm when the Queen's Speech would take place.

"This is an utter humiliation for Theresa May, it is time to stop trying to cling to power and time to admit enough is enough," Mr Farron said.

"This is the biggest embarrassment that a Prime Minister can face, she cannot announce her agenda because she has no idea what she can actually get through.

“Theresa May can squat in Number 10 as long as she wants but the message is stark — she has no power, no influence and her game is up.”

Labour said the Government's failure to confirm the date of the Queen's Speech showed it was in "chaos". Shadow Brexit Secretary Keir Starmer told Radio 4 the the Conservative Party was "in denial" about losing its majority.

Leader of the Scottish National Party Nicola Sturgeon said the prospective postponement of the Queen's Speech raised questions "about what has been cooked up behind closed doors".

"It is an opportunity, perhaps – I know the arithmetic, I am not blind to the hurdles – but it perhaps means an opportunity for a progressive alternative to a Tory-DUP government," she added.

Refusing to confirm a date for the Queen's Speech, Mr Green said: "We are still forming the programme for government. Obviously we’re in talks with the Democratic Unionist Party to see the deal we can put together and I’m very optimistic that will happen.

"But obviously until we have that we can't agree the final details of the Queen's Speech."

Ms May on Monday met with backbench Tory MPs for the first time since losing her majority.

She admitted responsibility for the Conservative Party's disastrous election result, telling them: "I got us into this mess, and I'm going to get us out."

Ms May also indicated she may change her approach to the Brexit process, saying she would listen to "all voices in the party on the issue".

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