MPs return to House of Commons after Queen's speech

Monday, October 14, 2019

The ceremonial state opening of parliament and Queen’s speech today laid out government policy as a new parliamentary session begins.

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12.00 - MPs return to House of Commons 

MPs have returned to the House of Commons following this morning's Queen's speech.

The address, read by the monarch, began by reaffirming the government's "priority" of taking Britain out of the European Union on October 31.

It quickly maintained Home Secretary Priti Patel's pledge to end free movement to introduce a "fair and modern" immigration system.

The speech then continued to outline Boris Johnson's domestic agenda, including increasing sentences for violent and foreign offenders.

The Queen also announced the long-awaited Environment Bill, in response to the growing concern over climate change and wildlife losses.

The Bill includes measures to improve air quality, ensure nature is not damaged by building new homes, and make household recycling services more consistent.


11.50 - Government policy focuses on crime crackdown

The first Queen's speech of Boris Johnson's premiership has focused primarily on a crackdown on crime.

It outlined measures to "restore public confidence" in the criminal justice system and introduce longer sentences for violent criminals to "reflect better the seriousness of their crimes".

The Queen also announced government plans to improve safety and security in prisons and to strengthen the rehabilitation of prisoners.

The government also pledged to ensure that victims receving the "support they need and the justice they deserve".


11.35 - Black Rod summons MPs

The Queen, accompanied by Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall, has arrived at the Palace of Westminster for the state opening of Parliament.

She will deliver a speech, written by the Prime Minister, outlining the Boris Johnson's domestic agenda.

As tradition goes, she has ordered a senior officer of the House of Lords known as Balck Rod to summon Members of Parliament from the House of Commons chamber.

In line with ceremony, the door of the Commons was slammed in Black Rod's face to symbolise the Commons independence.

Blackrod, Sarah Clarke, then banged on the door three times with the rod, the door opened and all MPs – talking loudly – followed Black Rod back to the Lords to hear the Queen's Speech.


11.05 - The Queen leaves Buckingham Palace

The Queen has set off across London for the state opening of Parliament in the Palace of Westminster.

The ceremony will open a new parliamentary session, after the longest session in the UK's history came to an close last week. 

The Queen's speech will outline the new government's policy and is expected to be centred largely on Boris Johnson's Brexit plan.