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MPs pass Queen's speech unamended

Week in Westminster

Published: 30 June 2017 | Author: Michelle Vosper

The week began with the Conservative Party and the DUP announcing that a deal on a ‘confidence and supply’ arrangement between the two parties has been reached. This means that Theresa May will have a working majority for key votes, such as the Queen’s speech and the Budget. However, this arrangement does not necessarily extend to votes on all issues, which means the government is likely to have to gain support for votes on a case by case basis.

MPs passed the Queen’s speech, despite attempts by the Labour party to amend it. With the support of the DUP, the speech  passed unamended by a majority of 14. However, questions remain about the state of play in the House of Lords where the government holds a minority of seats. In addition, many argue that the Salisbury Convention, under which peers do not attempt to defeat or substantially amend legislation that was including in a government’s General Election manifesto, does not apply in a hung Parliament.

James Marshall has been appointed to succeed John Godfrey as head of policy in Number 10. Mr Marshall was a former special adviser to Mark Harper and Michael Gove during their tenures as chief whip. Mr Marshall has also worked as an English teacher at Shrewsbury School.

The government announced the full list of parliamentary private secretaries Key appointments include:

Prime minister - George Hollingbery and Seema Kennedy
Chancellor - Kwasi Kwarteng
Treasury ministerial team - Suella Fernandes and Chris Philp
Communities secretary – Mims Davies
DCLG ministerial team – Kevin Foster

Labour MPs dominate the top slots in the ballot for Commons private members bills for the 2017/19 session. The ballot decides which backbench MPs will be the first to introduction legislation of their choice. The higher up the ballot, the more time the MPs have for their bill to be debated. The ballot results are:

1.     Chris Bryant (Lab)
2.     Steve Reed (Lab)
3.     Afzal Khan (Lab)
4.     Karen Buck (Lab)
5.     Tim Loughton (Con)
6.     Geoffrey Robinson (Lab)
7.     Angus Brendan MacNeil (SNP)
8.     Kevin Hollinrake (Con)
9.     Jim McMahon (Lab)
10.   Glyn Davies (Con)
11.   Sir Greg Knight (Con)
12.   Stewart Malcolm McDonald (SNP)
13.   Esther McVey (Con)
14.   Dr Sarah Wollaston (Con)
15.   Stephanie Peacock (Lab)
16.   Daniel Zeichner (Lab)
17.   Andy Slaughter (Lab)
18.   Peter Kyle (Lab)
19.   Anne Marie Morris (Con)
20.   Holly Lynch (Lab)

The ballot for Lords private members bills has also taken place. The peers allocated the top 20 slots (there are 61 in total) have already decided on the subject of their bill and had them published. Of these, Lord Bird’s Creditworthiness Bill will be of particular interest.

First Minister of Wales Carwyn Jones has set out his government’s legislative priorities for the year ahead. The Welsh government intends to bring forward a bill to stop landlords and estate agents from charging unfair, up-front fees to tenants in the private rented sector. It will also introduce a bill to reform the regulatory controls for registered social landlords (RSLs) in Wales, so that RSLs can be reclassified and returned to the private sector.

The Welsh government also laid a supplementary budget motion for 2017/18 for agreement by the Assembly.