Parliament will today hear the annual King’s Speech, as Rishi Sunak lays out his legislative plans for the year ahead.
It will be King Charles III’s first such speech as monarch, and it will also be the first of the prime minister’s tenure in No 10.
It is also potentially the last before a general election, which must be held by January 2025.
Speaking ahead of his first King’s Speech as PM, Rishi Sunak said: “I want everyone across the country to have the pride and peace of mind that comes with knowing your community, where you are raising your family and taking your children to school, is safe. That is my vision of what a better Britain looks like.
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“Thanks to this government, crime is down, but we must always strive to do more, taking the right long-term decisions for the country and keeping the worst offenders locked up for longer”.
Sunak also pledged to bring forward bills that help people feel safer “in their own communities” and instil a pride in the “place they call home” on Tuesday.
The speech — devised by the prime minister, but delivered by the King — is expected to begin at around 11.30am.
11.30 am — King Charles III enters the House of Lords.
10.47 am — The King’s Bodyguard, the Yeoman of the Guard, are right now carrying out their ceremonial search of the Palace of Westminster ahead of the arrival of the King.
The Yeomen of the Guard search the cellars of Westminster for explosives to commemorate Guy Fawkes’s “gunpowder plot” of 1605.
9.42 am — Home secretary Suella Braverman’s plan to prevent charities giving out tents to homeless people is no longer expected to feature in the King’s Speech.
8.22 am — What to expect from the King’s Speech Today
- It has been confirmed that plans to “phase out” leaseholds will be in the address today.
- Rishi Sunak is also expected to use the speech to introduce a law that would stop children who turn 14 this year and those younger from ever legally buying cigarettes or tobacco in England. The measure would phase out smoking for the next generation.
- The government also plans to mandate annual oil and gas licensing in the North Sea.
- But the standout proposals from the King’s Speech are anticipated to be centred on criminal justice. One such measure expected to be included is the plan to force convicted criminals to be in court for their sentencing.
8.10 am — Justice secretary Alex Chalk refuses to repeat Suella Braverman‘s claim that rough sleeping is a ‘lifestyle choice’
Asked if he would reiterate her claim, Chalk said: “No I wouldn’t, I would take a different approach.”
He added: “It is the case of course that there will be some people who decline support from the local council, but there’s often a very significant context which could be a mental health issue, a substance abuse problem, a relationship breakdown or the loss of a job”.
8.00 am — Good morning and welcome back to “Politics Live”, politics.co.uk‘s rolling coverage of the day’s key moments in Westminster and beyond. Here you can keep up to date with today’s major parliamentary debates, press conferences and news events in real time.
Here’s what’s happening today:
- The King will formally open a new parliamentary session with the King’s Speech, his first since ascending the throne.
Stay with us and we’ll bring you all the latest developments as they unfold.