King Charles delivers his first King's Speech
King Charles officially lifted the curtain on the new parliamentary year this morning, and set out what the government plans to do between now and the general election.
In the first King’s Speech in 72 years, the monarch outlined plans for 21 bills covering areas like law and order, public health, net zero and animal welfare.
Rishi Sunak hopes the packed legislative agenda will turn around the Tories’ fortunes and help to claw back the 20-point lead that Labour has in the polls.
Here, HuffPost UK outlines all of the bills announced by His Majesty.
This will will introduce tougher sentences for the most serious offenders. For example, murder with sexual or sadistic conduct will lead to a whole life order except in exceptional circumstances. It will also introduce a presumption in favour of a suspended sentence for custodial sentences of twelve months or less.
Criminal Justice Bill
The most headline-grabbing part of this bill will compel defendants to attend their sentencing hearing rather than choosing to stay in their prison cell. It will also tackle violence against women and girls and introduce a mandatory duty on those working with children to report concerns relating to child sexual abuse.
Renters (Reform) Bill
This could prove to be one of the most difficult changes for the government to get on the statute book. The bill will finally ban no-fault evictions, but this change is bitterly opposed by many Tory MPs, who have forced ministers to delay the reform until now. Less controversially, the bill will also make it easier to evict anti-social tenants.
Tobacco and Vapes Bill
This bill makes good on the prime minister’s pledge at the Conservative Party conference to create the first smoke-free generation by making it impossible anyone currently aged 14 or younger to ever legally buy cigarettes. The bill will also crack down on youth vaping, with proposals including restricting flavours so they are no longer targeted at children.
Offshore Petroleum Licensing Bill
The bill will see applications for new North Sea exploration licences take place on an annual basis. Minister say this will safeguard the UK’s domestic oil and gas supplies, make the country less dependent on foreign imports and help Britain achieve its net zero targets.
Leasehold and Freehold Bill
The bill will make it cheaper and easier for existing leaseholders to extend their lease or buy their freehold, and also ban the creation of new leaseholds by making new-build houses freehold from the beginning.
Animal Welfare Bill
This will makes good on another Conservative manifesto commitment to ban the live export of cattle, sheep, goats, pigs and horses. It will also ensure that animals are slaughtered in high-welfare UK slaughterhouses.
The bill will enable the UK to meet its obligations under the comprehensive and progressive agreement for trans-Pacific partnership (CPTPP) trade bloc. The government says it will bring new opportunities for British businesses and support jobs across the country.
Terrorism (Protection of Premises) Bill
The bill - known as Martyn’s Law - will improve the safety and security of public venues in the wake of the Manchester Arena terror attack.
Victims and Prisoners Bill
The bill introduce reforms to improve the support provided to the victims in the event of disasters or major incidents, while also reforming the parole system to rebuild public confidence. It will also ensure that prisoners convicted of the most serious crimes cannot marry in prison
Automated Vehicles Bill
The bill will set a safety framework for driverless cars, meaning only those that can follow all road traffic rules without the need for a human will be allowed on the roads.
Digital Markets, Competition and Consumers Bill
Ministers say the new bill will tackle consumer rip-offs and bad online business practices like fake reviews and subscriptions which are difficult to get out of. It also delivers on a Tory manifesto commitment.
Data Protection and Digital Information Bill
The bill will create a new UK data rights regime and reduce burdens on businesses and scientific researchers. The government says the new law will also tackle nuisance calls and repetitive cookie pop-ups.
Ministers say this bill is needed to remove a threat to the freedom of the press by repealing part of the Crime and Courts Act 2013 which would force publishers to pay the legal costs of people who sue them even if they win. It will also make sure that public service TV and radio will always be available on smart TVs and streaming services.
The bill modernises the law on arbitration, which ministers say will benefit individuals and businesses seeking to resolve disputes.
Draft Rail Reform Bill
Ministers say the bill is needed to ensure further progress in the rail network, which was badly affected by the pandemic. Changes include simplifying fares and ticketing and providing more convenient ways to pay.
Football Governance Bill
An independent football regulator will be set up for the first time to make the game more financially sustainable and ensure fans’ voices are listened to. All clubs in the top five tiers of English football will need to be licensed and follow strict rules on corporate governance and club ownership.
Pedicabs (London) Bill
An estimated 900 unlicensed pedicabs currently work in the capital, with many accused of anti-social and nuisance behaviour. The new law will give Transport for London the power to introduce a pedicab licensing regime as well as fare controls to stop people being ripped off.
Holocaust Memorial Bill
The bill will deliver on the Tories’ manifesto commitment to build a Holocaust Memorial and Learning Centre.
Economic Activities of Public Bodies Bill
Under the bill, public bodies will be banned from imposing their own boycotts, divestment or sanctions (BDS) campaigns. These campaigns are usually targeted at Israel. This legislation has already proved controversial, with MPs accusing the government of over-reach.
Investigatory Powers (Amendment) Bill
This will update the 2016 Investigatory Powers Act to take account in technological advances. The intelligence agencies will be given a raft of new powers to help them tackle terrorists, child abusers and criminal gangs.