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JASON GROVES: Rishi pledges to build a ‘brighter future’ for Britain in the King’s Speech – but he’s running out of time to deliver

Today’s King’s Speech is the first by a male monarch for 70 years – and the last before Rishi Sunak has to face a reckoning with voters at a general election.

The legislative programme unveiled by the new King this morning is aimed squarely at showing the electorate that, after steadying the ship in the wake of Liz Truss‘s chaotic departure last year, the Prime Minister now has the vision to take the country forward.

The package includes a blizzard of measures on law and order – including tougher sentences for the most serious sexual and violent offenders, new powers for the police to search homes for stolen goods without a warrant and a requirement for killers to face their victims’ families in court – all designed to show voters the PM is on their side.

Protections for consumers are also introduced, such as cracking down on nuisance calls, ending no-fault evictions and banning leasehold properties.

There are also efforts to draw dividing lines with Labour, both on crime and also on energy, where the PM is convinced the public do not agree with Sir Keir Starmer‘s plan to close down the North Sea.

The legislative programme unveiled by the new King this morning is aimed squarely at showing the electorate that Prime Minister Rishi Sunak (pictured today) now has the vision to take the country forward The legislative programme unveiled by the new King this morning is aimed squarely at showing the electorate that Prime Minister Rishi Sunak (pictured today) now has the vision to take the country forward

The legislative programme unveiled by the new King this morning is aimed squarely at showing the electorate that Prime Minister Rishi Sunak (pictured today) now has the vision to take the country forward

Today's King's Speech is the first by a male monarch for 70 years ¿ and the last before Rishi Sunak has to face a reckoning with voters at a general election. Pictured: King Charles III, wearing the Imperial State Crown, his Robe of State and Admiral of the Fleet Royal Naval dress uniform, was supported by his wife Queen Camilla as he delivered his speech today Today's King's Speech is the first by a male monarch for 70 years ¿ and the last before Rishi Sunak has to face a reckoning with voters at a general election. Pictured: King Charles III, wearing the Imperial State Crown, his Robe of State and Admiral of the Fleet Royal Naval dress uniform, was supported by his wife Queen Camilla as he delivered his speech today

Today’s King’s Speech is the first by a male monarch for 70 years – and the last before Rishi Sunak has to face a reckoning with voters at a general election. Pictured: King Charles III, wearing the Imperial State Crown, his Robe of State and Admiral of the Fleet Royal Naval dress uniform, was supported by his wife Queen Camilla as he delivered his speech today

Most importantly, there are a string of measures designed to show that the 43-year-old, tech-obsessed Prime Minister has a better grip on the challenges and opportunities of the future than his hidebound 61-year-old Labour rival.

READ MORE: Charles pays tribute to Queen in his first State Opening of Parliament speech as King 

Tory strategists believe the radical plan to phase out smoking is in tune with today’s health-conscious times. 

And the speech contains a series of proposals intended to show that Mr Sunak is the true candidate of change – whether it’s a framework for driverless cars, reform of Britain’s outdated data laws or the introduction of a new offence of cyber-flashing.

Mr Sunak’s advisers believe that ‘time for a change’ will be a key theme of the next election – and are determined to show that, after what will be 14 years of Tory government, the relatively youthful PM still has the energy and ideas needed to take Britain forward. 

Success will depend, to a large extent, on whether voters appreciate – or even notice – the new direction being mapped out today.

Meanwhile, some of the government’s most contentious ideas have been quietly dropped in a bid to avoid unnecessary rows and divisions on the Tory benches.

The package includes a blizzard of measures on law and order ¿ including tougher sentences for the most serious sexual and violent offenders, new powers for the police to search homes for stolen goods without a warrant and a requirement for killers to face their victims' families in court. Pictured today: Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer Home Secretary Suella Braverman, Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster Oliver Dowden, and deputy Labour Party leader Angela Rayner and Speaker of The House of Commons Sir Lindsay Hoyle The package includes a blizzard of measures on law and order ¿ including tougher sentences for the most serious sexual and violent offenders, new powers for the police to search homes for stolen goods without a warrant and a requirement for killers to face their victims' families in court. Pictured today: Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer Home Secretary Suella Braverman, Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster Oliver Dowden, and deputy Labour Party leader Angela Rayner and Speaker of The House of Commons Sir Lindsay Hoyle

The package includes a blizzard of measures on law and order – including tougher sentences for the most serious sexual and violent offenders, new powers for the police to search homes for stolen goods without a warrant and a requirement for killers to face their victims’ families in court. Pictured today: Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer Home Secretary Suella Braverman, Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster Oliver Dowden, and deputy Labour Party leader Angela Rayner and Speaker of The House of Commons Sir Lindsay Hoyle

Pictured: Charles and Camilla speak to Leader of the House of Commons Penny Mordaunt and Justice Secretary Alex Chalk after the king delivered a speech at the State Opening of Parliament today Pictured: Charles and Camilla speak to Leader of the House of Commons Penny Mordaunt and Justice Secretary Alex Chalk after the king delivered a speech at the State Opening of Parliament today

Pictured: Charles and Camilla speak to Leader of the House of Commons Penny Mordaunt and Justice Secretary Alex Chalk after the king delivered a speech at the State Opening of Parliament today

A plan to ban so-called gay conversion therapy has been quietly ditched after Tory MPs warned it could criminalise parents and teachers.

And a controversial plan to ban charities from handing out tents to the homeless has been dropped following protests from some Cabinet ministers. 

The idea was floated at the weekend by Suella Braverman – who described homelessness as a ‘lifestyle choice’ – and the PM’s decision to drop it amounts to a thinly-veiled rebuke for the outspoken Home Secretary.

Mr Sunak today pledges to build a ‘brighter future’ for Britain. He has not got long to deliver.

CrimeKing Charles IIIKeir StarmerRishi Sunak

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