When is Parliament back? How Queens speech could spell doom for Boris Johnson

Boris Johnson 'won't be re-elected' as PM says Campbell

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The Prime Minister was handed a devastating evaluation by the general public on May 5, when voters opted to excise the Conservative presence from more than 400 local councils. In the fallout, Tories have turned to Sir Keir Starmer, whose participation in “beergate” they hope will distract from their Governmental failures and give Boris Johnson a chance to turn the page. The next legislative session in Parliament will prove even more vital, as Mr Johnson’s position hangs in the balance.

When does Parliament return?

Parliament works by passing legislation in several “sessions” between General Elections.

They have no fixed length but, more often than not, run from spring to spring.

The last session started in May 2021 and concluded with prorogation on May 2, not long after MPs returned from Easter recess.

Both the House of Commons and Lords close for prorogation between sessions.

They return with the Queen’s speech and State Opening of Parliament on May 10, when the Government outlines its new agenda.

Cabinet officials draw Queen Elizabeth II a document outlining the policies ministers intend to pass into law, which she then announces from the throne room to both Lords and MPs.

MPs can then return to both chambers and their committee rooms with a slimmed-down schedule for the first days of their new session.

What happens after the Queen’s speech?

Parliamentary business resumes immediately after the speech, with Lords and MPs returning to their respective chambers for a debate.

The official response is dubbed the “Address in Reply to Her Majesty’s Gracious Speech” and takes several days as legislators debate the speech’s many aspects.

These include distinct policy areas such as health and social care, the economy and local government.

Deliberation can see parts of the speech adjusted, usually via cross-party bills.

If MPs in either chamber vote down the speech, the Prime Minister and his Cabinet would be in jeopardy.

Politicians see the defeat of a Queen’s speech as a de facto vote of no confidence.

That would make the Prime Minister’s position untenable, although this is unlikely to happen.

The last time a Government lost its proposal for a new session was nearly 100 years ago.

Former Prime Minister Stanley Baldwin lost his King’s speech in 1924, as Labour successfully defeated his minority Government.

The defeat led him to resign his post and paved the way for Labour PM Ramsay MacDonald.

With an 80-seat majority, Mr Johnson is near-guaranteed to pass his new legislative agenda – but it could mean the PM faces an anxious few days until he can secure this vote.

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