Portsmouth News

Mixed response from politician­s in city area to the Queen’s Speech

Both praise and criticism of plans

- By DAVID GEORGE The News david.george@jpimedia.co.uk

POLITICANS have given a mixed reaction to the Queen’s Speech setting out the government’s legislativ­e programme.

It comes as the government yesterday put forward a raft of proposals – from stopping historic prosecutio­ns of British soldiers to changing the planning system.

At a glance the government is planning to:

■ Extend 5G coverage new safety standards

■ Tax breaks at freeports in the Solent

■ Restrictio­ns on prosecutin­g British soldiers

■ Support for veterans in the Armed Forces Bill

■ Police powers over protests

■ Require online tech firms to tackle harmful and illegal contact

■ A Victims Bill to make new rights for victims n Introduce a zoning system for planning

■ Legal duties on universiti­es and students' unions to ensure free speech

■ Pass the Environmen­t Bill on protecting wildlife

Voter ID will also be rolled out, meaning people will have to prove who they are when they go to the polls.

Leader of Fareham Borough Council, Councillor Sean Woodward, said this is a crucial change to modernise elections.

‘I totally support the idea,’ he said.

‘To simply go to a polling station and claim you are Mrs Bloggs from Highlands Road and get to vote is archaic.

‘It’s perfectly normal to use ID in your life, from driving licences to council tax bills. The naysayers will get over it.’

A total of 31 bills were put forward, many of which are focused on economic recovery in the wake of the Covid19 pandemic.

Gosport MP with including

Caroline

Dinenage said: ‘I am really pleased to see a Queen’s Speech that focuses on the priorities of residents across Gosport, Hill Head, Stubbingto­n and Lee-on-the-Solent, including boosting educationa­l opportunit­ies, strengthen­ing animal welfare, improving armed forces welfare and reforms to revitalise our high street.

‘Importantl­y, the bills introduced today will pave the way for the new Freeport at Portsmouth which will generate thousands of jobs across our local area and I am particular­ly pleased to see the introducti­on of the Online Safety Bill, which I have been working hard on to crack down on online harms and make the internet a safer place for all.’

But not every MP is happy with the Queen’s Speech.

Labour MP for Portsmouth South, Stephen Morgan, was fiercely critical of a lack of legislatio­n to improve social care.

The Queen said social care proposals will be ‘brought forward’ – but Mr Morgan’s argument is that the government is only supplying mantras, rather than actual change.

He said: ‘The message from last week is that people are demanding and are owed real change. The government gave us yet more rhetoric and buzzwords, not a proper plan to get Britain working for working people.

‘This Queen’s Speech doesn’t put proper detail behind the rhetoric on jobs, social care, reducing violent crime and narrowing the gap between different parts of the country will be yet another wasted opportunit­y.

‘Social care is in dire need of improvemen­t across our country and in Portsmouth, but many will now feel forgotten by this government which has once again opted for further dither and delay with hollow promises on this important issue.’

The bills introduced today will pave the way for the new Freeport at Portsmouth. Gosport MP Caroline Dinenage

WHAT DO YOU THINK?

Have your say at portsmouth.co.uk or email letters@thenews.co.uk

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 ??  ?? CEREMONY The Queen in Parliament yesterday. Below: Sean Woodward, Caroline Dinenage, MP and Stephen Morgan, MP
CEREMONY The Queen in Parliament yesterday. Below: Sean Woodward, Caroline Dinenage, MP and Stephen Morgan, MP

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