Shields MP blasts Government after Queen's Speech

South Shields MP Emma Lewell-Buck has accused the Government of being paralysed by its divisions over Europe.

Emma Lewell-Buck
Emma Lewell-Buck

Today's Queen's Speech set out a relatively modest agenda of 21 bills which focused on reforms to prison, adoption and universities and largely avoided the kind of legislation which might fuel opposition to the government in the run-up to June's referendum.

But the absence of a Sovereignty Bill in the Government's agenda for the coming year still sparked a row, with former cabinet minister and Leave campaigner Iain Duncan Smith accusing Prime Minister David Cameron of ditching the proposal - along with other key elements of the Tories' programme - in order to improve the chances of a Remain vote in the June 23 referendum.

Emma Lewell-Buck said: "The speech revealed only two new announcements – 28 out of the 30 have been heard before which shows how weakened this government now are because of their in-fighting over the EU referendum and their failed economic plans.

"The Prime Minster is now desperately trying to promote the idea that they are a One Nation Party; that they want to give everybody a chance to get on in life.

"His own former Secretary of State for Work and Pensions has already made a laughing-stock of the PM after the Budget, when he declared this government’s welfare reforms show that 'we are not all in this together'. And we aren't fooled today.

"How dare the Prime Minister talk about how he will help the lowest-income families save when thousands can’t even afford to eat; to giving every child the best start in life when he is running schools into the ground and has shut down thousands of Sure Start Centres: to reforming public services so they help the hardest-to-reach when for the last six years this government has put the biggest burden of their austerity plans on the people that can least afford it: low-income families, people who are disabled, people who can’t afford to buy homes and he’s running the services people most rely on to improve their lives; hospitals, social services and education services into the ground.

"He wants to introduce new indicators for measuring life chance but has withdrawn funding from FE education and is allowing universities to increase their fees further. The reality is, young people in this country see a future where there are not enough jobs for them, where they may never be able to afford a home or a university education. The only people this government helps to get on in life are the rich and the powerful."