Election 2017: Queen’s Speech delayed as DUP talks continue

Downing Street has signalled the Queen’s Speech may be delayed, as Theresa May attempts to get her plan for government in order after her humiliating election performance.

The State Opening of Parliament had been pencilled in for Monday June 19, but Ms May’s official spokesman said an update on timings was expected today.

A move to delay the passing of her legislative programme through the Commons comes as she is still scrambling to secure a deal with the Northern Irish DUP, without whose support she has no majority in the Chamber.

After Ms May failed to secure enough seats in the election, key Tory figures have admitted the manifesto on which the party stood will have to be altered. Brexit Secretary David Davis said this morning it would likely be “pruned”.

In a briefing the Prime Minister’s official spokesman declined to confirm that the Queen’s Speech would still be held on June 19 as previously announced, saying that Leader of the Commons Andrea Leadsom will soon be releasing a statement on the date.

Scottish Tory leader Ruth Davidson and Chancellor Philip Hammond have both stressed the need to put the economy, as opposed to immigration, first in Brexit negotiations.

Members of the parliamentary party are also demanding Ms May revisit her approach to Brexit. She will face the wrath of backbenchers at a crunch meeting on Monday afternoon, at which her MPs want her to show contrition for her woeful election campaign and tell them how she will change her leadership style.

DUP leader Arlene Foster  is due in Downing Street on Tuesday, when the Prime Minister will seek to hammer out what the unionist party wants in return for supporting the Government’s programme.

Mr Davis said the position the Government is in means it is expected that “some elements of the manifesto will be pruned away” as Ms May sets out her new agenda.

Plans to drop the triple lock on pensions and introduce means-testing for the winter fuel allowance are likely to be ditched as they face opposition from the DUP.

Ms May could also avoid time-consuming divisive issues such as a vote on repealing the fox hunting ban. The Prime Minister’s pet project of introducing a new wave of grammar schools, which has provoked anger among some of her own backbenchers, may also fall by the wayside.


Staff Reporter

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