King Charles today delivered his first King’s Speech as monarch. The speech set the Government’s agenda for the coming year and outlined 21 Bills that Ministers intend to pass during the next Parliamentary session.
Crime and Justice
- Sentencing Bill: Requires whole-life sentences for the worst murders, prevents early release for rapists, and increases the likelihood of serving short sentences for lesser crimes in the community.
- Criminal Justice Bill: Introduces measures to ensure criminals appear in court, grants police powers to seize stolen goods without a warrant, targets knife crime, and cracks down on anti-social behaviour.
- Victims and Prisoners Bill: Prevents certain prisoners from marrying, creates new rights for crime victims, will give ministers the power to veto the release of the most dangerous offenders, and delivers Jade's Law on parental rights.
- Investigatory Powers (Amendment) Bill: Provides law enforcement agencies with greater access to certain personal data and mandates tech companies to clear security features with the Home Office.
- Terrorism (Protection of Premises) Bill: Implements Martyn's law, requiring UK venues to develop anti-terror plans.
- Leasehold and Freehold Bill: Bans new house leaseholds in England and Wales, extends standard lease extension to 990 years, eases flat owners' access to freehold shares, reduces management fees and ends the requirement for leaseholders to pay freeholders' legal fees.
- Renters (Reform) Bill: Enacts a ban on "no-fault" evictions, ends blanket bans on pets, and strengthens landlords' rights to evict non-paying tenants; however, reforms will come into force after court system reforms.
Energy and Environment
- Offshore Petroleum Licensing Bill: Awards licenses for oil and gas projects in the North Sea on an annual basis.
- Animal Welfare (Livestock Exports) Bill: The bill will ban the export of live animals from the UK for slaughter and fattening abroad.
Technology and Media
- Automated Vehicles Bill: Establishes a legal framework in Great Britain for self-driving cars.
- Digital Markets, Competition and Consumers Bill: Strengthens consumer rights online and addresses fake reviews.
- Data Protection and Digital Information Bill: Replaces the inherited EU data protection regime.
- Media Bill: Eliminates the rule requiring media companies to pay legal bills of those who sue them, even if they win. Alongside a new video on demand code, to be drafted and enforced by the broadcast regulator, Ofcom.
- Tobacco and Vapes Bill: Implements a ban on anyone currently aged 14 from ever buying cigarettes. Introduces restrictions on vape packaging design to target young people, bans vape flavours designed to appeal to children, restrict attractive displays in stops and bans free samples given to teenagers; alongside a consideration of a vape tax.
- Football Governance Bill: Establishes a regulator for the top five tiers of English professional football. Further fan engagement rules will need to be met, to ensure a majority must endorse measures like changing a club’s badge, name, or home shirt colours.
- Pedicabs (London) Bill: Grants Transport for London new powers to regulate pedal-powered taxi cabs in the capital.
Other Bills in the Speech
- Arbitration Bill: Introduces new rules for individuals and businesses to resolve disputes without going to court.
- Trade Bill: Enables the UK to join the 11-nation CPTPP trade pact with several countries in Asia and the Pacific.
- Holocaust Memorial Bill: Enables the construction of a Holocaust memorial in Victoria Tower Gardens, near the Houses of Parliament.
- Economic Activities of Public Bodies (Overseas Matters) Bill: Prohibits public bodies from boycotting or divestment policies, particularly on Israel, in order to achieve consistent foreign policy.
- Rail Reform Bill (Draft Form): Creates Great British Railways (GBR) to oversee the railway in Great Britain, with control over franchising and performance accountability.