Tuesday, 10 July 2007

Pre-empting the Queen

Until July 11th 2007 - it had been the practice for the Queen to announce the legislative programme for the coming session in her speech at the State Opening. In recent years leaking of selected titbits to the press had become the norm. But there will be a statement after PMQs setting out the draft legislative agenda.

The report of the Afternoon press briefing on July 10th from No 10 says

"Asked what the purpose of tomorrow's pre-Queen's Speech was, the PMS replied that the purpose of tomorrow's debate was to set out the main legislative priorities for the Government. There was discussion at Cabinet on this, and the overarching theme was how the Government responds to the rising aspirations of people by providing better opportunities for the future. So the priorities for the legislative programme would be: Housing, and the measures we needed to take to make housing opportunities more widely available; Education opportunities, taking forward some of the measures announced by Ed Balls today; and responding to people's concerns about better health care.

Asked if much would be made of the fixed rate mortgage plan tomorrow, the PMS replied that it would be best to wait for the statement on that, but detailed announcements on this would come from the Treasury.

Asked if this legislation was for pre-legislative scrutiny ahead of being formally included in The Queen's Speech, or was it just Bills, the PMS replied that we would not be publishing draft Bills. We would be publishing a list of Bills with some explanation of what the main items in those Bills will be, for consultation prior to The Queen's Speech.

Asked where this left The Queens' Speech, the PMS replied that it left The Queen's Speech as The Queen's Speech. This whole process had been conducted in full consultation with the Palace."