The Queen has set out the Government’s agenda for the coming year amid accusations that David Cameron has watered down key measures.
The measures in the Queen’s Speech, delivered by the monarch in the House of Lords, is an attempt by the Prime Minister to advance a Government agenda and brush aside the toxic atmosphere over the EU.
However, Mr Cameron has been accused of “tossing aside” reforms and “watering down” key elements of the Conservative’s legislative programme in his “helter-skelter pursuit of the Referendum”.
Former Cabinet Minister Iain Duncan Smith claims the dilution of the speech has led to “increasing concern” among many Conservatives.
The former Work and Pensions Secretary reserved most of his anger for the omission of the Sovereignty Bill, which was promised after the EU renegotiation deal as a way of bringing power back to the UK.
As he attempted to woo Boris Johnson to the In camp, David Cameron told the House of Commons in February that the measures, designed to tackle the powers of the European Court of Justice, would “put beyond doubt” the sovereignty of UK parliament.
The Prime Minister promised that he would look to introduce the measure at the same time as the conclusion of the negotiations, leading politicians to believe it would be in the Queen’s Speech.
The Bill of Rights will “better protect against abuse of the system and misuse of human rights laws” and will mean the scrapping of the Human Rights Act.
Crucially, despite lengthy discussion and manifesto promises to deliver, the Government is only offering consultation on proposals to be “published in due course”.
Mr Duncan Smith, who dramatically resigned in March over welfare reform, said: “Many Conservatives have become increasingly concerned that in the Governments helter skelter pursuit of the Referendum, they have been jettisoning or watering down key elements of their legislative programme.”
Other measures included in the 21 Bills contained in the speech include:
:: Under the Extremism Bill, radical preachers to be treated like paedophiles and banned from jobs in schools or care homes
:: Soft drinks levy – announced in the Budget, this will raise money for school sport and longer days
:: Non EU citizens to be charged for using NHS – should save £500m a year