Clegg: Cancel the Queen’s Speech

By staff

The Queen’s Speech should be scrapped this year and replaced with thorough implementation of reforms to parliament, Nick Clegg said this morning.

In a comment piece for the Independent, the Lib Dem leader described this year’s Queen’s Speech as a “fiction”, because there wasn’t enough parliamentary time left until the election for laws to be passed.

Instead, the period was being used by government to “road-test” policies for the Labour manifesto.

“The one gift this failed parliament can give its successor is a fresh start,” Mr Clegg said.

“This parliament has forfeited the right to do anything but focus on political reform.”

Mr Clegg said parliament needed to urgently adopt new powers to sack corrupt MPs and abolish hereditary peerage.

In a more controversial suggestion, he called for the prompt adoption of a report due later this week calling for the power of party whips to be radically reduced.

There are only 70 parliamentary days between now and the last date when parliament can be dissolved, Mr Clegg said. Most laws need an average of 240 days to pass.

This morning the prime minister’s spokesman said the government had a “focussed” agenda, and that the bill in the speech would be short, inrecognition of the amount of parliamentary time the government has to play with.

Deputy Labour leader Harriet Harman told the BBC today: “It’s not right to say that most of those bills won’t get through parliament next year, the majority of them will.”