Queen’s Speech: What’s at stake for Boris Johnson

After a bruising set of local election results and with questions about the prime minister’s leadership lingering, the Queen’s Speech is meant to be a relaunch moment for Boris Johnson’s government.

He will try to convince Conservative MPs – and the country – that he can deliver on his promises, and with the next general election expected within two years it’s one of the last chances to set out a legislative plan to do so.

The cost of living is said to be at the “forefront” of the prime minister’s mind – he has promised measures to drive economic growth and ease the burden on families and businesses.

There’s likely to be announcements about maximizing so-called Brexit opportunities; amending or removing EU law that was carried over after Brexit and cutting back on regulation in the hope of energizing the economy.

That will please some Conservative MPs, not least those who’ve been concerned about the level of state intervention since the pandemic.

One back-bencher said: “It’s about time. It’s been frustrating that we’ve not looked at Brexit gains in that way. We’ve been necessarily big state and big spend for the past two years, but it’s becoming increasingly uncomfortable. “

But some fear the Queen’s Speech will fall far short on direct measures to tackle the rising cost of living, in particular energy bills.

One senior Tory MP said: “I don’t get many get constituents emailing me on Brexit opportunities, but I do get businesses emailing me worried about going bust and individuals emailing about not being able to feed their families.

“The government needs to do something substantial. It’s not sustainable not to.”

With Labor set to claim the government lacks ideas and action on the cost of living, Boris Johnson’s challenge will be persuading his party and voters that in this Queen’s Speech, he does have some answers.

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