May’s Queen’s Speech delay ‘an utter humiliation’

12 Jun

The Prime Minister postponed the key address, which was due to be on 19 June, as she continued talks with the Democratic Unionist Party to secure their support in propping up her minority government.

The Queen is expected to attend Parliament a few days later than originally planned to give the speech, which outlines the legislative agenda for the coming year.

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With her authority diminished after failing to secure a majority in the election, Mrs May faces the prospect of relying on the DUP to make sure the Queen’s Speech passes.

She is meeting with the party’s leader Arlene Foster on Tuesday to finalise a deal.

Theresa May met leading members of her Cabinet
Theresa May met leading members of her Cabinet formally for the first time

In response, a Labour spokesperson said: “Number 10’s failure to confirm the date of the Queen’s Speech shows that this government is in chaos, as it struggles to agree a backroom deal with a party with abhorrent views on LGBT and women’s rights.”

Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron said: “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.”

Additional delay could be caused because the Queen’s Speech is written on goatskin parchment paper, which requires several days for the ink to dry.

The paper does not contain any goatskin, but is high-quality archival paper that is guaranteed to last for at least 500 years.

Amid uncertainty over the Queen’s Speech, Mrs May met leading members of her Cabinet formally for the first time since failing to win a majority in last week’s election.

She will face backbench MPs later.

David Davis

Brexit Secretary caught between a rock and a hard place

Earlier, Brexit Secretary David Davis signalled that official negotiations with the EU may not start on 19 June as anticipated.

He said talks would start next week, but not necessarily on Monday.

He told Sky News: “It’s in the week of next week, basically, the first discussions.

“My permanent secretary is actually in Brussels today talking to them about the details.

“It may not be on the Monday because we also have got the Queen’s Speech that week and I will have to speak in that, and so on.”

Mr Davis also suggested Mrs May could have to rethink her approach to Brexit after losing seats in the snap election.

He added that some manifesto pledges would be dropped or watered down as he admitted the Tory election campaign “went wrong”.

“We’ll have to look at the Queen’s Speech and what we have to get through,” he said.

The new lineup of Theresa May's Cabinet

Theresa May’s reshuffled Cabinet

“It has to be voted on in Parliament in a week’s time; it’s a matter of practicality.

“There may be things that we simply can’t put in. That will happen. That will be going on as we speak.

“We will try to carry as much of the House with us as we can.”

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