Rishi Sunak has set out a fresh legislative programme for the coming parliamentary session while seeking to draw dividing lines with Labour going into the next general election.
In all, the package featured 20 bills and one draft bill, including some that have been carried over from the last session to complete their passage in the next.
Here is a whistle-stop tour of each one:
Offshore Petroleum Licensing Bill
This will mandate licenses for oil and gas projects in the North Sea to be awarded annually. The Government has argued this would enhance the UK’s energy security, but it also causes a headache for Labour which has said it would ban new exploration licences to focus on renewable energy if it takes power.
Trade (Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership) Bill
Enables the UK’s formal accession to a major Indo-Pacific trade bloc of 11 nations after it signed an agreement to do so earlier this year.
Paves the way for the introduction of self-driving cars and buses on UK roads by putting in place a legal framework centred on safety and user protection, as part of the Prime Minister’s plans to make the UK a world leader in emerging technologies.
Digital Markets, Competition and Consumers Bill
This Bill, which has been carried over from the last session, aims to make it harder for firms to trap people in unwanted subscription contracts, take action against fake reviews and drip pricing, and increase competition between big tech firms.
Data Protection and Digital Information Bill
Also making a return, this aims to update the UK’s data protection laws post-Brexit and strengthen the regulator.
This will repeal a law requiring media outlets to pay all legal costs in libel cases, regardless of who won. It will also reduce regulatory burdens on commercial radio stations.
Streaming giants will be subject to a new video-on-demand code, which will be drafted and enforced by the media watchdog Ofcom.
Modernises the law on arbitration, including allowing arbitrators to kick out baseless claims quickly and strengthening the courts’ supporting powers.
Aims to modernise rail including by setting up the new Great British Railways public body – something that was not expected in the speech as it was seen as a priority for Boris Johnson but not for Mr Sunak. As a draft, it is unlikely to make it onto the statute books in this session.
Stops children turning 14 this year or younger from ever legally buying cigarettes or tobacco in England and aims to crack down on vaping among youngsters.
Leasehold and Freehold Bill
Brings forward much-delayed plans for leasehold reform, including capping ground rents and extending the length of leases from 90 to 990 years. But the proposals have been watered down, with leasehold banned for new houses – but not new flats.
The Bill, which had provoked the ire of some Tory MPs, has also been carried over. It includes a long-awaited ban on “no-fault” evictions, but only after stronger possession grounds for landlords and a new court process are in place. It also strengthens powers to evict anti-social tenants and ends a blanket ban on pets.
It also axes plans to require landlords to meet energy efficiency targets by from 2025, as part of the Prime Minister’s rollback of a string of green measures announced in September.
Establishes a new independent football regulator, with the body set to have powers to step in and resolve how money flows from the Premier League down the pyramid.
Enables Transport for London to introduce fare controls and a licensing regime for pedicabs – the only form of unregulated transport on the capital’s roads – and bar them from congested areas.
This hybrid bill is also being brought back to support the building of a national Holocaust memorial in Victoria Tower Gardens next to Parliament. It updates a 1900 law that prevented the project from going ahead and allows the Government to use public funding to build and operate the centre. The Government has re-stated its efforts to tackle antisemitism in the wake of the Hamas attack on Israel last month.
Animal Welfare (Livestock Exports) Bill
Permanently bans the live export of cattle, sheep, goats, pigs and horses for slaughter and fattening from England. Does not include measures to outlaw the importation of hunting trophies as promised in the 2019 Tory manifesto.
Economic Activities of Public Bodies (Overseas Matters) Bill
Another bill making a return in the next session, it prevents public bodies from imposing their own direct or indirect boycotts, divestment or sanctions campaigns against other countries, which the Government said disproportionately target Israel.
Mandates courts to hand down a whole-life order in the worst cases of murder, with judges having discretion to impose a shorter tariff only in exceptional circumstances.
The legislation will also ensure that rapists and serious sexual offenders serve the whole of their sentence behind bars, without being released early on licence.
Forces criminals to attend their sentencing hearings, after killer nurse Lucy Letby refused to leave her cell. Gives police powers to enter a property without a court warrant to seize stolen goods such as phones tracked through GPS location tracking technology. Also criminalises the sharing of intimate images and allows the transfer of prisoners in and out of England and Wales to serve their sentence abroad.
Investigatory Powers (Amendment) Bill
Provides a legal framework for intelligence agencies to access information they need to tackle threats.
Terrorism (Protection of Premises) Bill
Also known as Martyn’s Law, the bill requires venues to take steps to be better prepared to respond if there is a terrorist attack.
Victims and Prisoners Bill
Continuing its progress in the Commons, the bill gives ministers the power to block parole for the worst offenders and ban them from marrying in prison.
There were also some issues notable for their absence from the King’s Speech. They included:
Restricting tents for rough sleepers
There was no mention of proposals from Home Secretary Suella Braverman to ban charities from handing out tents to the homeless. Downing Street sources said they were still “undergoing scrutiny”.
The Government failed to deliver on its previously promised pledge to ban the practice, dismaying campaigners.
Scrapping nutrient neutrality rules
Government plans to axe EU-era rules that force developers to mitigate the impact new homes have on river health were not included.