At-a-glance: Key points of the King's Speech

King Charles travelling to Parliament
King Charles stood in for the late Queen last year, but this was his first address as king

King Charles has outlined the government's priorities for the year ahead, in his first King's Speech as monarch.

The speech outlined 21 laws that ministers intend to pass in the next year-long session of Parliament.

Around a third have been carried over from the previous session, or previously published in some form.

It is the first such blueprint of Rishi Sunak's government, and likely the last before the next UK general election, expected next year.

Here is a summary of the main points.

Crime and justice

Lady Justice
Lady Justice
  • A Sentencing Bill will require whole-life sentences for the worst murders, mean rapists cannot be released early, and make it more likely short sentences for lesser crimes are served in the community

  • A Criminal Justice Bill will introduce measures to force criminals to appear in the dock, and give police new powers to enter buildings without a warrant to seize stolen goods

  • The already-published Victims and Prisoners Bill would prevent certain prisoners from marrying, create new rights for crime victims, and deliver Jade's Law on parental rights


Police officers
Police officers
  • An Investigatory Powers (Amendment) Bill will give law enforcement agencies greater access to certain personal data, and make tech companies clear security features with the Home Office

  • The existing Terrorism (Protection of Premises) Bill will deliver Martyn's law, forcing UK venues to draw up anti-terror plans


  • A Leasehold and Freehold Bill will ban leaseholds for new houses - but not new flats - in England and Wales, and increase the standard lease extension period to 990 years

  • The existing Renters (Reform) Bill will deliver a long-promised ban on "no-fault" evictions in England. But this will only come into force after reforms to the court system

Energy and environment

Oil rig near Scotland
Oil rig near Scotland
  • Licences for oil and gas projects in the North Sea will have to be awarded annually, under a the Offshore Petroleum Licensing Bill

  • An Animal Welfare (Livestock Exports) Bill will ban the export of cattle from Great Britain for fattening and slaughter

Technology and media

Internet cables
Internet cables
  • An Automated Vehicles Bill will set a legal framework in Great Britain for self-driving cars

  • Pledges to strengthen consumer rights online and tackle fake reviews are contained in the Digital Markets, Competition and Consumers Bill

  • The existing Data Protection and Digital Information Bill will replace the data protection regime the UK inherited from the EU

  • The Media Bill, published in draft form earlier this year, will scrap a never-enacted rule forcing media companies to pay the legal bills of people who sue them, even if they win

Social changes

Vaping shop
Vaping shop
  • A Tobacco and Vapes Bill will deliver a plans for a phased ban on smoking, and introduce restrictions on the packaging and marketing of vapes

  • A regulator for the top five tiers of English professional football will be established by the Football Governance Bill

  • A Pedicabs (London) Bill will give Transport for London new powers to regulate pedal-powered taxi cabs in the capital

What else was in the speech?

  • An Arbitration Bill will introduce new rules for individuals and businesses to resolve disputes without going to court

  • A Trade Bill will enable the UK to join the 11-nation CPTPP trade pact with several countries in Asia and the Pacific

  • The Holocaust Memorial Bill will enable a Holocaust memorial to be built in Victoria Tower Gardens, near the Houses of Parliament

  • Public bodies will be banned from boycotting Israel under the Economic Activities of Public Bodies (Overseas Matters) Bill

  • A Rail Reform Bill creating a new body to oversee the railway in Great Britain is included, but only in draft form

What was left out?

  • No new bill to ban the import of hunting trophies, after a Tory MP's bill to do so was timed out in the last parliamentary session

  • A bill to introduce a ban on so-called conversion therapy to change someone's sexual orientation or gender identity - promised since 2018

  • A bill authorising the construction of the HS2 rail line between Crewe and Manchester dropped

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