A big day in Parliament!
The 2023 Kings Speech took place on Tuesday 7th November at the State opening of Parliament. King Charles III opened his speech by paying tribute to his late mother, Queen Elizabeth II, tributing to her legacy of service and devotion to this country.
The State Opening of Parliament allows for the Government to set out the programme of legislation that it intends to pursue in the forthcoming parliamentary session.
Too many governments have made decisions which are only effective in the short term, it is time to focus on the right long-term decisions which will safeguard the future prosperity of our country. This Government’s plans are committed to, growing the economy, strengthening society, keeping people safe and promoting our national interests.
The King introduced 21 pieces of legislation which shall progress through Parliament, including measures ranging from housing and crime.
The important bills I want to outline are;
- Victims and Prisoners Bill
- For too long, victims have felt the criminal justice system doesn’t work for them and that their voice isn’t heard, that too much emphasis is placed on the criminal rather than the victim. This Bill will support victims by restoring trust through transforming a victims experience from the moment a crime happens.
- Criminal Justice Bill
- This Bill’s priority is to ensure that criminals face the consequences of their actions and spend longer behind bars.
- It shall tackle violence against women and girls – murdering a partner at the end of a relationship will be deemed a statutory aggravating factor when sentencing the offender. Additionally, it will criminalise the sharing of intimate images.
- This Bill shall also crack down on the crimes and anti-social behaviour that blight communities by taking tougher action on drugs through an expansion of drug testing on arrest and increasing the maximum penalty for sale of dangerous weapons to under 18s.
- Sentencing Bill
- This Bill will ensure tougher sentences for the most serious offenders and in turn increase the confidence of victims.
- This Bill will also ensure that rapists and those convicted of the most serious sexual offences, receiving a determinate sentence, serve every day of their custodial term behind bars.
- Renters (Reform) Bill
- This Bill is to ensure that there is greater security and certainty of quality accommodation for renters, while helping landlords get their property back swiftly when needed, such as evicting anti-social tenants or those repeatedly in rent arrears.
- Draft Rail Reform Bill
- This Draft Bill shall bring more accountability to the management of the network and the commissioning of passenger’s services into a new public rail body that put customers first and delivers efficiency.
- It will also seek to simplify fares and ticketing, providing more convenient wats to pay for tickets.
Other measures include creating a smokefree generation to protect young people from the harms caused by tobacco and simultaneously supporting the NHS. Additionally, through the Holocaust Memorial Bill, the Government is bringing forward new legislation to eradicate antisemitism.
These new Bill’s introduced by the King will help the Government to continue to deliver on our priorities, including easing the cost of living, growing the economy, as well as cutting crime, supporting communities and providing the leadership needed in the year ahead.