Charles III delivers his first 'King's Speech' with elections on the horizon
For the first time as monarch, Charles III He delivered his first 'King's Speech' before the British Parliament this Tuesdayin which Rishi Sunak's conservative government tried to present a "long-term" vision, with the intention of winning votes in a legislative election that is not far away.
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Wanting to perpetuate the legacy of his "dear mother" Elizabeth II, Charles agreed to this ritual of British political life, which marks the beginning of the last parliamentary session before the next elections, which must be scheduled before January 2025.
This is the first 'King's Speech' by a male monarch in 70 years, although he had already made one as heir in May 2022, when he delivered it on behalf of his mother, whose health was delicate. After arriving by carriage at the Palace of Westminster, the sovereign, who turns 75 on November 14, was this time received by dozens of protesters shouting "He is not my king!" and "What a waste of money!", something unimaginable when his mother Elizabeth II reigned.
With the imperial crown on his head and installed on the golden throne of the House of Lords, next to Queen Camilla, seated to his left, the king gave the ten-minute speech.
Following the Covid-19 epidemic and the war in Ukraine, which have contributed to the serious crisis and increased cost of living in the United Kingdom, "my government's priority is to make difficult but necessary long-term decisions to change the country," said the monarch in this speech prepared by Prime Minister Rishi Sunak.
It was therefore also the first 'King's Speech' for Sunak since he succeeded Liz Truss., who would have replaced Boris Johnson as prime minister just two days before the queen's death and who lasted less than two months. It will perhaps be the last 'King's Speech' for the current prime minister, since the Conservatives, in power for fourteen years, have a clear disadvantage compared to Labor in the polls.
"Aware of the legacy of service and devotion to this country left by my beloved mother, the late Queen, I delivered this, the first 'King's Speech' in more than 70 years," Charles said as he began his speech.
In the speech, Sunak made law and order a key electoral battleground by proposing tougher court sentencing guidelines and an end to early release for some violent sex offenders. He also highlighted the differences he maintains with Keir Starmer's Labor Party on the environment and energy.
The speech proposed a law annually granting new licenses for oil and gas projects in the North Sea which Sunak said would reduce Britain's dependence on foreign energy and create jobs.
Charles, who has dedicated his life to environmental causes, delivered these measures without any expression on his face, in keeping with the convention that the monarch is above politics.
"The Prime Minister takes voters for mad. But it would be foolish to think that a strategy that aims solely to sow doubt, roll back on climate and nature and provoke anger based on falsehoods is going to win votes. Sunak is about to learn that the hard way," said Rebecca Newsom, policy manager for the British branch of the environmental organization Greenpeace, after the speech.
The speech, whose political content is usually vague and general, It constitutes one of the last possibilities for Rishi Sunak to turn the polls in favor of Labour. In the mouth of the king, the former Minister of Economy, 43, repeated his desire to fight against inflation, and to lower the price of bills for British citizens, but also to train more doctors and nurses and progressively prohibit the sale of cigarettes in the UK.
Rishi Sunak, who entered Downing Street just over a year ago, also showed in the speech that he wants to create "new legal frameworks" to support the development of autonomous vehicles and encourage innovation in sectors such as artificial intelligence (AI).
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