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May's filleted Queen's Speech is threadbare, says Labour

23 June 2017

Francke said that while she welcomed the positive sentiment of the speech, as well as commitments such as doing more to tackle the gender pay gap and workplace discrimination and investing more into skills and infrastructure, she urged the government to adopt a more collaborative approach to negotiations and policy-making, integrating business leaders as well as opposition parties into the process to lay down the foundations for a successful Britain post-Brexit.

"Clearly the EU still inspires some in the United Kingdom", tweeted Guy Verhofstadt, the European Parliament's Brexit spokesman, while opposition Labour MP Paul Flynn jokingly referred to it as an "anti-Brexit hat".

Ministers insisted Donald Trump's controversial visit to Britain will go ahead despite it not being listed in the Queen's Speech setting out the Government's programme for the next two years.

Since talks began with the DUP nearly two weeks ago in the chaos following May's unexpected loss of her majority, the negotiations have followed an uncertain course with conflicting signals about whether a deal would be struck.

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The circumstance, however - the speech's role mapping British legislative priorities for the new parliamentary session - remained as crucial and revealing as ever. Four militant attacks have raised questions about her grip on national security, and the death of at least 79 people in a tower block fire has become a flashpoint for public anger at her party's record in government.

"The Queen's Speech on its own will not solve every challenge our country faces", she said. "We don't want him", said one tweeter.

"As prime minister, I apologise for that failure", she said.

In other respects, her speech - which is shaped by the governing party's priorities - was notable for what it left out entirely.

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Also absent were key pledges the Conservatives had given in their manifesto for the recent election which analysts said had bombed with the electorate - such as reform of social care for the elderly and more shake-ups in schools.

Mr Carmichael, a Cabinet colleague of Mrs May in the coalition government, said she would stick to her position "like a limpet to a rock". "This will be complemented by legislation to ensure that the United Kingdom makes a success of Brexit, establishing new national policies on immigration, global sanctions, nuclear safeguards, agriculture, and fisheries".

The ceremony, without the usual royal procession and pageantry, was a result of the rushed preparations following the snap general election earlier this month that saw May's Conservative party failing to garner a majority in the House of Commons.

May has resisted calls to resign and is hoping for the support of the DUP's 10 MPs to boost her tally of 317 seats in the 650-seat parliament, but a deal has proved elusive so far.

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But a DUP source said a deal was "certainly not imminent" as the talks "haven't proceeded in a way that the DUP would have expected" and cautioned that the party "can't be taken for granted".