UKs Sunak Makes Pre-election Pitch In First Kings Speech Since 1951

London, (APP – UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News – 7th Nov, 2023) Charles III delivered the first King’s Speech in 72 years Tuesday, formally opening the UK parliament with a run-down of his government‘s legislative plans as an election looms.

From a golden throne in the House of Lords, the 74-year-old monarch outlined Conservative Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s wish list of new laws that reinforced dividing lines with the main opposition Labour Party.

Several dozen protestors outside parliament chanted “Not my king” and “What a waste of money,” as Charles addressed lawmakers in the diamond-studded Imperial State Crown, a long crimson robe and Royal Navy uniform.

The 10-minute speech came as the Tories, in power since 2010, trail Labour by double-digits in most opinion polls before a general election widely expected next year.

The ceremonial address was Charles’s first as head of state, although he had a dry run deputising for his mother Queen Elizabeth II in May last year.

It was also Sunak’s first since succeeding Liz Truss, who took over from Boris Johnson as prime minister just two days before the queen’s death and lasted only 49 days in office.

“It is mindful of the legacy of service and devotion to this country set by my beloved mother, the late Queen, that I deliver this, the first King’s Speech in over 70 years,” said Charles, beginning the speech.

In it, Sunak made law and order a key election battleground by proposing tougher sentencing guidelines around life terms and an end to early release for some violent sexual offenders.

He also underlined differences that he is drawing with Keir Starmer’s centre-left Labour party over the environment and energy.

The speech proposed a law granting new licences for oil and gas projects in the North Sea annually that Sunak says will reduce Britain’s reliance on foreign energy and create jobs.

Charles, who has devoted his life to environmental causes, delivered the announcement expressionless in keeping with the convention that the monarch is above politics.

Sunak had already announced a rollback of green energy policies in September, positioning himself as a champion of motorists in a bid to turn around his party’s fortunes.

Labour has said it will not award any new oil and gas exploration licences and has pledged instead to boost investment in green energy.
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