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EXCL Government to pledge 'Hillsborough Law' in Queen's Speech

3 min read

A new law which would introduce a publicly-funded advocate to act on behalf of families involved in a Hillsborough-style tragedy will be included in the Queen's Speech, PoliticsHome can reveal.

The measure will be announced by Her Majesty as Theresa May vowed that her government will act with "humility and resolve" in the wake of the general election result.

Other proposed legislation to be included in the Government's plans include a Civil Liability Bill to tackle fraudulent whiplash claims, a Domestic Violence and Abuse Bill and another bill banning landlords from charging tenants' fees.

The Government has already announced this will be the last Queen's Speech for two years, with Brexit-related laws such as the Great Repeal Bill dominating the legislative programme.

But key manifesto pledges on creating a new generation of grammar schools, scrapping the triple lock on the state pension and removing free school lunches are expected to be ditched after the general election saw the Tories lose their Commons majority.

The Conservative manifesto said: "To ensure that the pain and suffering of the Hillsborough families over the last 20 years is not repeated, we will introduce an independent public advocate who will act for bereaved families after a public disaster and support them at public inquests."

The plans are virtually identical to a private member's bill introduced in 2014 by Labour peer Lord Wills, but which failed to gain enough support to become law.

The Queen's Speech is taking place despite the Prime Minister's failure to so far reach a deal with the DUP to prop up her minority administration.

However, the Tories are still confident that they will be able to get the Queen's Speech through the Commons, in what would effectively be a confidence vote in the Government.

In her foreword to the address today, Theresa May said the election result was “not the one I hoped for”, but insisted that her ministers will work to “gain the trust and confidence of the British people”.

"This Queen’s Speech is about recognising and grasping the opportunities that lie ahead for the United Kingdom as we leave the European Union," she said.

“It is about delivering a Brexit deal that works for all parts of the UK while building a stronger, fairer country by strengthening our economy, tackling injustice and promoting opportunity and aspiration.

“The election result was not the one I hoped for, but this Government will respond with humility and resolve to the message the electorate sent. We will work hard every day to gain the trust and confidence of the British people, making their priorities our priorities”.

Mrs May insisted that her government would be an administration that “consults and listens” on Brexit.

“First, we need to get Brexit right. That means getting a deal which delivers the result of last year’s referendum and does so in a way that commands maximum public support,” she added.

"Much has been said in recent days about what the General Election signified about Britain’s decision to leave the EU.

“The fact is that over 80 per cent of the electorate backed the two major parties, both of whom campaigned on manifestos that said we should honour the democratic decision of the British people.

“While this will be a Government that consults and listens, we are clear that we are going to see Brexit through, working with Parliament, business, the devolved administrations and others to ensure a smooth and orderly withdrawal. 

"This will therefore be a busy legislative session with a number of Bills geared towards making a success of Brexit".

The Prime Minister added that her government would “continue to bring down the deficit”, boost spending on the NHS and schools, while the minimum wage would rise.

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