Tories abandon government and Brexit timetable over election strain

Queen’s speech date forced back amid “chaos” as Brexit talks date looms 

THE WEAK AND WOBBLY outcome of the General Election has already found its first casualty: Elizabeth Windsor’s diary plans. 

Plans to hold the Queen’s Speech, setting out the new laws planned by a freshly elected government on 19 June, have been pushed back due to ongoing attempts by the Tories to cobble together support for a provisional programme. 

Opponents have described the delay as “chaos” with ongoing talks with the hard-right Northern Irish loyalist party the DUP still ongoing days after the election results. Calls for Prime Minister Theresa May to resign and expectations of a future snap general election have contributed to a sense of instability following the hung parliament result on Thursday 8 June. 

In a statement increasing pressure on the Tories, the Labour Party said: “Number 10's failure to confirm the date of the Queen's Speech shows that this government is in chaos, as it struggles to agree a backroom deal with a party with abhorrent views on LGBT and women's rights.”

Leader Jeremy Corbyn has pledged to present an alternative programme for government - although he as weill is short of a majority, even if all opposition parties that sit in parliament were to support him.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, in London to speak to her party’s re-elected MPs, was similarly scathing. 

The government has played down the delay, claiming it will only be for “a few days”. However, the Queen’s Speech is only the first barrier to forming a functioning government. With a majority of just seven, even a Tory-DUP alliance would face considerable pressure to win votes in parliament. 

Brexit secretary David Davis has now also admitted that the date for Brexit talks to begin - 19 June - will be pushed back further as well. The Tories repeatedly claimed during the election campaign that talks would be begin “11 days” after the election on June 8. 

Picture courtesy of UK Parliament

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