Public given say on Queen's speech

Detail's of the Queen's speech will be released before the summer recess
Detail's of the Queen's speech will be released before the summer recess

The new leader of the Commons, Harriet Harman, has revealed plans to consult the public over the content of the Queen's speech before it is finalised.

The plan comes as part of Gordon Brown's strategy for constitutional reform, intended to stem the tide of public disillusionment with political parties.

Ministers will now release their legislative programme prior to the summer recess. MPs would then debate it before it is put out for consultation over the summer months.

Ms Harman told MPs: "We intend to issue a document to the public which sets out what the government's priorities are for new laws so they can see it.

"All of these are things which previously would have happened behind closed doors and engaged the machinery of government but be hidden to the outside world."

Ms Harman took over from her predecessor, Jack Straw, when Gordon brown became prime minister. Mr Straw has now become justice secretary.

Fulfilling her part of Mr Brown's attempt to make Westminster more transparent and trustworthy, Ms Harman stressed to her fellow MPs that she would adopt a more informal attitude to her job.

She claimed MPs would no longer have to wait for her weekly session of forthcoming business to discuss issues with her.

"My office is just down the corridor there and the door is open," she said.


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