Queen to miss state opening of parliament, Prince Charles to deliver speech instead
The Prince of Wales and Duke of Cambridge will open Parliament on the Queens behalf in a historic, first move which will see Charles read the Queen’s Speech.
The Monarch, 96, reluctantly pulled out of the major ceremonial occasion for the first time in 59 years following advice from her royal doctors as she continues to experience “episodic mobility problems”.
It will be William’s first state opening – and the royal function of opening a new parliament has been delegated to both Charles and William by the Queen.
The Duchess of Cornwall, a future Queen Consort, will also accompany Charles, but the Queen’s main throne will remain empty in the House of Lords.
The Queen last missed the state openings of in 1959 and 1963, when she was pregnant with Prince Andrew and then Prince Edward. Her speech was read by the Lord Chancellor.
Elsewhere, Labor sources were described as “confident” they can prove Sir Keir Starmer did not break lockdown rules after he vowed to resign if he is fined by police, and the party has prepared a dossier of evidence to support his case.
Stormont – Northern Ireland political leaders say ‘actions must follow words’ ahead of Queen’s Speech
Northern Ireland’s political leaders have spoken with Prime Minister Boris Johnson amid a stalemate over forming a new Stormont Executive.
The DUP has urged the Government to act on its concerns over the Northern Ireland Protocol before it enters an Executive, while Sinn Fein has called for a fresh team of ministers to be nominated now.
Following the historic election result at the weekend, Sinn Fein is now the largest party at Stormont and entitled to nominate the first nationalist or republican First Minister.
However the DUP must nominate a deputy First Minister to serve alongside in the joint office.
Sinn Fein’s Stormont leader, Michelle O’Neill, said she pressed Mr Johnson on the importance of a new Executive being formed.
She tweeted that, during her call with the Prime Minister, she told him the DUP’s “refusal to form an Executive is punishing the public, leaving workers and families high and dry.”
“The public here can’t be a pawn in the British Government’s game of chicken with the EU,” she said.
“Time to form an Executive now.”
Sir Jeffrey Donaldson said that, during his call with the Prime Minister, he “reiterated our position that we cannot nominate to an Executive until determining action is taken on the protocol”.
Hours ahead of the Queen’s Speech, Sir Jeffrey said he will “listen carefully to what is said today in Parliament”, but warned “action must follow words”.
Maryam Zakir-Hussain10 May 2022 09:45
Watch live outside Downing Street before state opening of parliament
We will be livestreaming outside Downing Street before the state opening of Parliament later this morning.
Watch live outside Downing Street before state opening of parliament
Maryam Zakir-Hussain10 May 2022 09:40
Energy crisis – British Gas owner Centrica’s profits to hit top targets amid calls for windfall tax
British Gas owner Centrica has said it expects to post annual at the top of its targets amid intensifying calls for a windfall tax on energy firms.
The company said it has been boosted by “strong” volumes across its nuclear and gas production operations.
Meanwhile, its trading business has also increased volumes of gas and renewable energy to improve UK supply amid pressure from the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
My colleague Henry Saker-Clark reports:
Maryam Zakir-Hussain10 May 2022 09:35
Beergate – Tory minister does not think labor leader should lose job if fined
Policing minister Kit Malthouse said he does not see why anyone should lose their job, when asked about Sir Keir Starmer’s pledge to resign if he is fined over an alleged Covid breach.
Asked if the Labor leader is right to say he would step down, Mr Malthouse told GB News: “That’s a matter for him. Look, my view is that this was a very difficult situation with complicated rules that were often changing quite quickly. Mistakes were made and they’re acknowledged and fixed penalty notices are paid.
“I don’t see why anybody, be they so high or so humble, should lose their job.”
Maryam Zakir-Hussain10 May 2022 09:25
70 facts about the Queen to mark her Platinum Jubilee
Though the Queen’s health is not fit enough for today’s state opening of Parliament, there is hope that she will recover in time for her Platinum Jubilee celebrations in June.
My colleague Laura Hampson has more:
Maryam Zakir-Hussain10 May 2022 09:20
Queen’s Speech- Tesco chairman hopes for announcement of windfall tax on energy companies
The chairman of Tesco has said there is an “overwhelming need” for a windfall tax on energy companies after seeing the supermarket’s customers “extremely stretched”.
Asked what he would like to see in the Queen’s Speech, John Allan told BBC Radio 4’s Today program: “First of all, I think action to help people cope with a very, very sharp increase in energy prices.
“It’s harder for people to mitigate energy than it is with food, and I think there’s an overwhelming case for a windfall tax on profits from those energy producers fed back to those most in need of help with energy prices.
“I think that would be the single biggest thing that could be done.”
He added that he thinks energy companies are “expecting it” and doubts “they would actually be much fazed by it”.
He said he has recently seen Tesco customers asking checkout staff to stop scanning items once their bill has reached a certain threshold.
“So I think a lot of people are feeling, you know, something of a pinch and lots of people are actually feeling extremely stretched.”
Maryam Zakir-Hussain10 May 2022 09:15
Queen’s Speech will contain ‘assertive new measures’ to help drive the economy, Home Office minister says
Policing minister Kit Malthouse said the Queen’s Speech will contain “assertive new measures” to help both people and the nation pay the bills.
He told GB News: “As we move towards a Budget in the autumn, I think you’ll see in the Speech today some really assertive new measures to dynamise our economy, drive it forward, so that in the medium term we can pay our bills both at home and as a nation.”
Maryam Zakir-Hussain10 May 2022 09:05
‘Above my paygrade’: emergency budget to tackle cost-of-living crisis not ruled out by minister
An emergency budget aimed at tackling the cost-of-living crisis has not been ruled out by a government minister, who suggested the decision was above his “pay grade”.
Home Office minister Kit Malthouse also claimed the government could not “spend our way out” of the crisis, as he downplayed the prospect of rapid help in the Queen’s Speech later today.
Our political correspondent Ashley Cowburn reports:
Maryam Zakir-Hussain10 May 2022 08:55
Episodic mobility issues: Why the Queen is missing state opening of parliament
The Queen’s “episodic mobility problems” – which have caused her to miss today’s state opening of Parliament- stretch back to last autumn and have led to a number of canceled engagements over the last seven months.
“The Queen continues to experience episodic mobility problems, and in consultation with her doctors has reluctantly decided that she will not attend the state opening of parliament tomorrow,” the palace said in a statement.
“At Her Majesty’s request, and with the agreement of the relevant authorities, the Prince of Wales will read the Queen’s Speech on Her Majesty’s behalf, with The Duke of Cambridge also in attendance.”
In October 2021, the monarch used a walking stick at a Westminster Abbey service – the first time her majesty had done so at a major event.
My colleague Peony Hirwani has more:
Maryam Zakir-Hussain10 May 2022 08:42
Beergate- Former labor advisor says Labor leader is taking a ‘big gamble’
Ayesha Hazarika, former Labor Advisor has said Sir Keir Starmer’s promise to resign if fined over Beergate is a “big gamble”.
Speaking to Sky News she said: “He’s really putting his career on the line, he’s putting his political ambitions on the line.
“I think it is quite unsual to see someone say ‘No, I will take responsibility if I am found to be done wrong- I will fall on my sword’.”
Maryam Zakir-Hussain10 May 2022 08:35