Delayed British state opening of parliament set for June 21

Britain will hold its state opening of parliament on June 21.
Britain will hold its state opening of parliament on June 21. PHOTO: AFP/PRU

LONDON (AFP) – Queen Elizabeth  will formally open parliament and announce the British government’s legislative programme on June 21, two days later than planned after Prime Minister Theresa May’s election setback.

“The government has agreed with Buckingham Palace that the state opening of parliament will take place on June 21,” leader of the House of Commons Andrea Leadsom said in a statement on Thursday (June 15).

The state opening, a ceremony full of pomp in which the monarch reads out the Queen’s Speech detailing the government’s programme for the coming year, was due to take place on June 19.

It was delayed after May’s Conservatives lost their majority in the Commons in the June 8 election.

The premier is now racing to secure the support of a small Northern Irish party, the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), to stay in office as head of a minority government.

A senior Conservative source told AFP that the party was “confident” it would have enough parliamentary votes to pass the Queen’s Speech, but the deal with the DUP has not been finalised yet.