November 9, 2023

2023 King’s Speech

This post was written by: Michael Sayers

In his inaugural King’s Speech, King Charles has set the government’s priorities for the coming year. In the speech, ministers laid out their plans to pass twenty-one bills during the upcoming year-long session of Parliament. Approximately one-third were either carried over from the previous session or had already been published. It is the first—and probably the last—such blueprint of Rishi Sunak’s administration before the upcoming general election in the United Kingdom, which is scheduled for next year.

Some of the key changes that were announced in Kings Charles speech were:

  • A Sentencing Bill would make it more likely that short terms for lesser offences be served in the community, with a mandate whole-life penalties for the worst murder offences as well as preventing convicted rapists from being released early.
  • The existing Terrorism (Protection of Premises) Bill will deliver Martyn’s law, forcing UK venues to draw up and adhere to anti-terror plans.
  • A Leasehold and Freehold Bill will ban leaseholds for new houses, but not new flats, in England and Wales, and increase the standard lease extension period to 990 years.
  • An Animal Welfare (Livestock Exports) Bill will ban the export of cattle from Great Britain for fattening and slaughter.
  • Pledges to strengthen consumer rights online and tackle fake reviews are contained in the Digital Markets, Competition and Consumers Bill.
  • A Tobacco and Vapes Bill will deliver plans for a (much-discussed) phased ban on smoking, and introduce restrictions on the packaging and marketing of vapes.
  • An Arbitration Bill will introduce new rules for individuals and businesses to resolve disputes without going to court.

Many more changes were announced with some, such as the replacement of section 21 evictions being kicked to the curb whilst the Courts undergo reforms, being a substantial way off yet.  However , these were some of the changes which were more eye catching and could have the potential to affect a greater proportion of the population. The King of England usually gives a speech annually regarding new changes (or updates on older ones). Stay tuned to Aston Bond to always be in the know as to how these Bills develop.