Queens Speech 2012 - The Key Bills In Full

09/05/2012 11:49 | Updated 09 May 2012

There are 19 Bills in the 2012 Queen's Speech - some of them are new revelations but many of them press ahead with things the government has already announced. Here's a run-down of the major Bills and what's in them.

House of Lords Reform Bill

  • Would slowly phase out 80% of the appointed peers in the upper chamber and replace them with elected members. These would serve 15-year terms and wouldn't be allowed to stand for election again afterward.
  • The elections would take place at the same time as general elections (which will now be fixed every five years). But the Lords will serve much larger constituencies, and be elected under a proportional representation system
  • The number of peers would be reduced "substantially" - at the moment there are more than 800 peers. Ministers originally wanted it to be reduced to 300. There is likely to be a concession here, with the final number in the Bill expected to be 400 or 450.

Enterprise And Regulatory Reform Bill

  • The Bill would cut red tape for businesses, particularly on employment tribunals. Ministers say the measures will "give employers more confidence to hire new staff, supporting growth"
  • Sets up the Green Investment Bank - stimiluating growth in low-carbon technoliogies.
  • Sets up a framework for directors' pay and gives shareholders more powers to hold senior executives of big corporations to account

Children and Families Bill

Cutting red tape on the grants and services for kids with special needs, reducing the number of assessments they have to go through in order to qualify for extra support

More flexibility for parental leave - ministers say it will allow mums and dads to "share caring responsibilities in a way which best suits their needs"

Speeds up the adoption process, particularly for children from ethnic minorities. Their ethnicity will no longer be a key factor when choosing adoptive parents.

Crime and Courts Bill

  • The creation of a National Crime Agency - merging various existing bodies to tackle child sex offences, cyber crime, border security and other serious organised crime under one roof.
  • Improving road safety - with a clause to toughen up the penalties for driving under the influence of drugs.
  • Allowing courts to be televised "in limited circumstances"
  • Shifting the costs for late-payment of fines further onto the offender, rather than the taxpayer

Defamation Bill

  • Would mean that those suing for libel must have experienced "serious harm". The government says this will reduce the number of "trivial claims"
  • Enshrining into law the right for people to make potentially defamatory comments if their views are honestly held - the "fair comment" clause. It also protects people making defamatory comments if they were genuinely in the public interest (known by journalists as the "Reynolds Defence". These get-out clauses already exist due to case law. Ministers will now put them into statute.
  • Reducing "libel tourism" whereby non-UK citizens or residents will find it harder to sue someone in Britain

Justice and Security Bill

  • Would allow courts to consider "all material relating to a case, even where national security prevents that information from being made public"
  • Would modernise Parliament's ability to scrutinise the work of the intelligence and security services

Groceries Code Adjudicator Bill

  • Would set up an ombudsman to regulate the way supermarkets treat their suppliers - ruling against them where it's thought the big firms have been using strong-arm tactics.
  • Ministers say this would "act in the long-term interest of the consumer"

Banking Reform Bill

  • Would ring-fence the high-street and investment arms of the big banks - creating a "firewall" which would guarantee people's deposits in the event of another financial crisis or crash
  • Ministers say it would "curtail the implicit government guarantee of the banking sector" - in some way making it clear that the banks are not "too big to fail"

State Opening Of Parliament 2012

09/05/2012 16:59 BST

Labour was 'hyper-active', according to George Eustice

Conservative MP George Eustice has told the BBC that the problem with Labour was its "hyper-active legislation"

"They spent ages bringing in bills that were badly thought through sand then they needed to use sessions to undo what they’d done and reverse the mistakes they’d made," he said.

“I think this government had a full session, a very long session – two years – some very big pieces of legislation went though, and I actually think it’s right that you don’t just jam the programme with endless legislation for the sake of it.”

09/05/2012 16:24 BST

Zac Goldsmith fears retreat on MP recall

The government has been accused of quietly rowing back on political reform by omitting plans to introduce the power to recall MPs mid-term from the Queen's Speech.

Tory backbencher Zac Goldsmith questioned why a Bill was not mentioned in the list of legislation announced on Wednesday morning.

"So where was the promised Recall Bill in the Queen's speech? How can Government expect to 'rebuild trust' if it so casually drops key promises?" he said.

09/05/2012 16:07 BST

Is Cameron saying lobbying reform has been delayed till next year?

@ ChrisMasonBBC :

David Cameron dismisses lack of bill on lobbying in the Queen's Speech, saying there will be another Queen's Speech next year.

09/05/2012 16:03 BST

PM: My government is doing what this country needs

The Prime Minister has mounted a robust defence of his government in the House Of Commons.

He said:

"This is a government that confronts the long-term challenges that we face, and that is what our country needs. A government that rolls up its sleeves to deal with the deficit, not an Opposition that thinks you can borrow your way out of debt."

"A Coalition government that is determined to unleash the private sector, spread growth around our country, sort out our financial services. Not a Labour one that bloated the public sector, sat back while an unregulated banking sector brought our country to its knees."

"A government that is backing hard-working people, not an Opposition that says it’s on their side but refuses to make work pay, refuses to cap welfare and wants to heave debts onto our children."

"This is a government that is taking the tough decisions to help families who work hard and do the right thing. Acting for the long term, governing in the national interest, this is a Queen’s speech to rebuild Britain, and I commend it to the House."

09/05/2012 15:53 BST

Graham Jones MP says Cameron is 'dying on his feet' in the Commons

@ GrahamJones_MP :

Cameron dying on his feet talking about the Queens Speech. Uninspiring. Punch drunk from the omnishambles.

09/05/2012 15:48 BST

Andrew Gwynne MP thinks Cameron is just waffling...

@ GwynneMP :

The PM's response to the Queen's speech debate is waffle. Ed M is obviously still buzzing from the elections. He was at his very best today!

09/05/2012 15:41 BST

Chi Onwurah MP attacks Cameron's 'emptiness'

@ ChiOnwurah :

@Ed_Miliband really nailed the emptiness of a Queen's Speech which doesn't mention jobs & does nothing to create them

09/05/2012 15:35 BST

Cameron summarises his government's agenda...

"It is about a government taking the tough long-term decisions to restore our country to strength, dealing with the deficit, rebalancing the economy and rewarding people who do the right thing."

09/05/2012 15:35 BST

Cameron defends the 'Snoopers' Charter'

Speaking in Parliament, the Prime Minister has defended proposals that have caused controversy for their apparent invasiveness.

“What we are trying to do here is not look at the content of people’s telephone calls, but just to update the measures for finding out who called who and when

“I say to people, of course let’s look at the detail, but I don’t want to be the Prime Minister standing at this despatch box saying ‘we could have done more on terrorism’.”

09/05/2012 15:22 BST

Miliband - endorsing Nadine Dorries?

@ IanDunt :

Miliband wants Nadine Dorries on the government's remuneration committee http://t.co/y9vH2Nro #QueensSpeech

Suggest a correction
This Blogger's Books and Other Items from...