It's an honour to be back to witness His Majesty The King opening Parliament. His Majesty's speech outlined 21 proposed laws, which will now be scrutinised.
The King’s Speech marked the beginning a new Parliamentary session, where the Government will bring forward legislation to grow the economy, strengthen society, keep people safe and promote our national interests.
The Government's announced plans include:
- Growing the economy by protecting our energy security, securing the benefits of Brexit, and ensuring we have the right framework for tech firms to compete and grow in the UK.
- Strengthening society by protecting the health of young people, supporting those who rent, and eradicating antisemitism everywhere.
- Keeping people safe by making sure the police have the powers they need, criminals get the punishment they deserve, and society is protected from terrorism.
- Promoting our national interests by backing our Armed Forces, supporting Ukraine, and leading the way on the challenges of the future: climate change and AI.
The Government will continue working to bring down inflation, cut debt and grow the economy by:
- Safeguarding the UK's energy independence. The Offshore Petroleum Licensing Bill will help to secure the UK's energy security and independence, by backing North Sea oil and gas extraction. This will safeguard 100,000s of jobs and enable the UK to reach our Net Zero targets in a proportionate and pragmatic way.
- Securing the benefits of Brexit. The Trade (Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership) Bill will make sure that the UK can promote trade and investment with the fastest growing economies around the world.
- Modernising regulation so the biggest tech firms can grow and compete in the UK. A series of bills (Automated Vehicles Bill; Digital Markets, Competition and Consumers Bill; Data Protection and Digital Information Bill) will introduce rules to regulate the actions of the world’s biggest tech firms – covering everything from social media giants, to supporting new emerging technologies like driverless vehicles and machine learning
The Government will strengthen society with new laws to protect the youngest and support our communities by:
- Protecting the health of young people. The Government will create the first smokefree generation by ensuring no one aged 14 or under will ever be able to be sold cigarettes, protecting the health of the youngest people in our society, with our Tobacco and Vapes Bill. This bill will also restrict the sale and marketing of vapes to children.
- Supporting renters and leaseholders. The Government will empower leaseholders with greater rights and protections over freeholds and punitive charges, with a Leasehold and Freehold Bill. Renters and landlords will be supported with a Renters (Reform) Bill, giving renters more security, landlords more control over their properties, and delivering on the manifesto commitment to abolish Section 21 “no fault” evictions.
- Safeguarding local football clubs for their fans and communities. To ensure that local football clubs are protected for the long-term the Government will legislate to establish a new independent football regulator. This will protect clubs’ heritage, help to prevent breakaway competition like the European Super League, and make sure that fans have a greater voice in their own clubs.
- Backing a free press. A free press is the cornerstone of democracy, rightly holding the most powerful to out account. The Media Bill will therefore repeal Section 40 of the Crime and Courts Act, which would have limited press freedom, while also safeguarding public service broadcasting for everyone.
- Memorialising the Holocaust and eradicating antisemitism. The Government is committed to doing everything it can to make sure the Holocaust is never forgotten, and that antisemitism is driven out of our society. Our Holocaust Memorial Bill will enable to build a national Holocaust Memorial and Learning Centre in central London, while the Economic Activity of Public Bodies (Overseas Matters) Bill, will ban public bodies from implementing their own politically motivated boycotts of foreign countries.
- Upholding animal welfare by banning live animal exports. The Government will take action to protect livestock from distress and injury with the Animal Welfare Live Exports Bill.
The Government will keep people safe with tougher sentences and stronger police powers by:
- Introducing tougher sentences and greater police powers. The Government will ensure criminals get the prison sentences they deserve with a new Sentencing (Whole Life Orders and Short Sentences) Bill. A new Criminal Justice Bill will give police the tools they need to prevent new and complex crimes, such as digital-enabled crime, child sexual abuse, and child grooming.
- Supporting victims and strengthen the parole system. Victims need to have confidence that the UK's criminal justice system will work for them, so the Victims and Prisoners Bill will give ministers the power to block the parole of the worst offenders and stop them marrying in prison, while also ensuring that victims are at the heart of justice considerations.
- Protecting the UK's national security. At a time when threats to national security are changing rapidly due to new technology, the Government will give the security and intelligence services the powers they need to keep us safe with a newInvestigatory Powers (Amendment) Bill. The Government will further protect the public and public places from terrorism with the Terrorism (Protection of Premises) Bill, learning lessons from the Manchester Arena tragedy.
- Protecting pedicab passengers. Pedicabs in London are currently unlicensed (unlike the rest of England and Wales), so the Government will legislate to regulate the industry and prevent anti-social behaviour on our streets. This will give passengers the security of knowing that pedicabs are safe and that drivers are properly licensed.
The Government will promote and protect national interests by:
- Backing the UK's Armed Forces and protecting national security. The Government will continue to invest in our world leading Armed Forces, ensuring that they have what they need to protect our country and keep people safe. By working with our international partners the Government will support Ukraine, strengthen NATO and safeguard our national security. The Government will continue to condemn the barbaric acts of terrorism against the people of Israel, as well as facilitate humanitarian support into Gaza and support the cause of peace and stability in the Middle East.
- Promoting British interests around the world. The UK is one of the world leaders in tackling climate change, so the Government will continue supporting developing countries with energy transitions and environmental targets. With our AI Summit and bi-lateral relationships, the Government will lead international discussions on artificial intelligence so it is developed safely, while protecting the jobs of hardworking people.
The full transcript of King's Speech as well as tv coverage of the proceedings can be accessed here.