Next Queen’s speech could be delayed until the Autumn over fears PM would lose vote

Queen Elizabeth II reading the Queen's Speech in the House of Lords at the Palace of Westminster in

Queen Elizabeth II reading the Queen's Speech in the House of Lords at the Palace of Westminster in London. Photograph: PA. - Credit: PA Archive/PA Images

Theresa May is trying to avoid having to hold a Queen's speech until the Autumn because there are worries it may not pass.

The current parliamentary session will be the longest in post-war history because of Brexit, and Theresa May's lack of leadership.

It has prompted the prime minister to consider putting off the opening of a new parliamentary term - and the Queen's speech - until later in the year because of fears it will not pass.

The Times reports that May's leadership could be further damaged if a vote is held on the Queen's speech and it fails to win the support of MPs.

Instead the newspaper claims that Downing Street is drawing up other legislation to extend the two-year session beyond June.

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Bills could be brought forward on animal cruelty, domestic violence, and restoration of the Houses of Parliament.

Asked when the next Queen's speech would be, Theresa May's spokesman said the government was focused on passing the Withdrawal Agreement Bill.

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He told a Westminster briefing: 'What we are focused on is the Withdrawal Agreement Bill, because that is the legislation which is necessary in order to ratify our withdrawal from the EU.

'That is part of the current Queen's Speech cycle and we need to finish that work.'

Brexiteer Iain Duncan Smith said that the Queen's speech was unlikely to be held until Brexit legislation had been resolved.

He said: 'The nature of the Queen's speech is that it has the character of the prime minister written through it.

'Without the prime minister's authority, it is just a wish list of things that probably won't happen.'

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