Sat, 2 December 2023

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Jeremy Corbyn mocks 'threadbare' Queen's Speech and says Labour are government in waiting

3 min read

Jeremy Corbyn today vowed to oppose Government plans “every step of the way” as he mocked the “threadbare” legislative programme put forward by Theresa May.

The Labour leader said the Queen's Speech - which was unveiled today and lists the laws ministers hope to pass over the next two years - was “woefully inadequate”.

But the Prime Minister insisted her plans were a “step forward to building a more passionate, more united, and more confident” Britain.

Mrs May was forced to scrap key planks of the Conservative manifesto after losing her Commons majority at the general election.

Plans to means test the winter fuel allowance, introduce new grammar schools and end the triple lock on pensions were among the many binned after being deemed too controversial for the Commons gauntlet.

In parliament today, Mr Corbyn said the Queen’s Speech highlighted the “chaos” at the heart of Government as it grapples to make a deal with the DUP to keep it in power.

He said it was a “threadbare legislative programme from a government that has lost its majority and apparently run out of ideas altogether”.

And he added: “This would be a thin legislative programme even if it was for one year but for two years it is woefully inadequate…

“This is a government without a majority, without a mandate, without a serious legislative programme, led by a Prime Minister who has lost her political authority, and is struggling to stitch together a deal to stay in office.”

Mr Corbyn went on: “We will use every opportunity to vote down government policies that failed to win public support and we will use every opportunity to win support for our programme.

“Labour is not merely an opposition: we are a government in waiting, with a policy programme that enthused and engaged millions of people; many for the first time.

“We are ready to offer real strong and stable leadership in the interests of the many not the few.”


Mrs May said Britain had faced a “difficult time” in recent weeks which had “tested the spirit of our country” but was "resilient".

“Our response to disaster and acts of terror... must be this: compassion, unity, resolve," she went on.

"We have been through and survived the toughest times before and we thrived. Once again, we can and will grow stronger from the challenges we face today...

“Not every problem can be solved by an act of Parliament, but it [the Queen’s Speech] is a step forward to building a more compassionate, more united and a more confident nation.”

In all, MPs will deal with 27 government bills over the next two years, plus a number on non-legislative measures, including the introduction of a public advocate to represent families involved in Hillsborough-style tragedies, as revealed by PoliticsHome this morning.

The proposed laws include a Repeal Bill ending the authority of the EU over the United Kingdom after Brexit. Other bills cover plans to scrap tenants' fees, crack down on domestic abuse and introduce flexible working in the Armed Forces.

Lib Dem leader Tim Farron said the "slimmed down Queen’s Speech shows a government on the edge", while the SNP branded Mrs May a "lame duck" prime minister.

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