Justice reforms about ‘head as well as heart’
Justice Secretary Alex Chalk said the planned criminal justice reforms, due to be set out in the King’s Speech, were about ‘head as well as heart’.
‘It’s something that I’ve been talking about for a long time because I’m a barrister by background, I’ve seen this stuff,’ he told Times Radio.
‘This is about head as well as it is about heart. This is about ensuring that I don’t want you, I don’t want your family, I don’t want my family, to be victims of crime.
‘So what I want to ensure is that people who are the greatest threat to you and your family are kept out of circulation for longer… but those who are capable of being rehabilitated should be rehabilitated. And that seems to me to be smart.’
Oil and gas licensing in the North Sea
The King, who has a longstanding interest in environmental matters, will also announce his Government’s plan for a new law to mandate annual oil and gas licensing in the North Sea – another issue on which the Tories hope to fight a political battle with Labour.
More information on cigarettes ban?
The speech could also introduce a law that would stop children who turn 14 this year and those younger from ever legally buying cigarettes or tobacco in England, as promised by Rishi Sunak at the Tory conference.
First King’s Speech since 1950
It will be the first State Opening of Parliament by Charles as King, although he delivered the last Queen’s Speech of Elizabeth II’s reign in place of his mother last year.
Due to the late Queen’s long reign, it will be the first King’s Speech since George VI opened Parliament in 1950 (pictured below).
New legislation for driverless vehicles
A report in The Times suggested new legislation for driverless vehicles will clear the way for buses, grocery deliveries and farm machinery to operate autonomously by the end of the decade.
A source told the newspaper: ‘It will pave the way for the commercial use of autonomous technology, which will have huge benefits for consumers, reduce road deaths and help decarbonise transport.’
New laws to be presented at King’s Speech
The new Criminal Justice Bill will include widely trailed measures to ensure reasonable force can be used to make offenders appear in the dock to face their victims for sentencing, or risk having up to two years added to their jail term.
It will also make being in a grooming gang an aggravating feature for sentencing, meaning tougher punishments for ringleaders and members.
The Sentencing Bill will mean a whole life order will be handed down in the worst cases of murder, with judges having discretion to impose a shorter tariff only in exceptional circumstances.
The legislation will also ensure that rapists and serious sexual offenders serve the whole of their sentence behind bars, without being released early on licence.
A Victims and Prisoners Bill will give ministers the power to block parole for the worst offenders and ban them from marrying in prison.
The promise of longer sentences comes as the prison system is under strain, with ministers forced to act last month to free up space by letting out some less serious offenders up to 18 days early.
The Government has promised the largest prison building programme in 100 years to create more than 20,000 more places.
What will the King’s Speech be about?
With a general election expected next year, the Prime Minister has put a series of criminal justice laws at the heart of the King’s Speech, in an attempt to draw dividing lines with Sir Keir Starmer’s Labour.
Rishi Sunak’s plan aims to deliver on already-announced proposals for killers convicted of the most horrific murders to expect whole life orders, meaning they will never be released, while rapists and other serious sexual offenders will not be let out early from prison sentences.
Other measures in the speech include giving police the power to enter a property without a warrant to seize stolen goods, such as phones, when they have reasonable proof that a specific stolen item is inside.
Parliament will return from its annual summer recess period today, when the ceremonial State Opening of Parliament will take place.
Charles will open Parliament as King for the first time after his ascension to the throne following the death of Queen Elizabeth II in September 2022.
But what time is the King’s speech and how can you watch the ceremony? Click on MailOnline’s story below for all the key details:
Welcome to MailOnline’s liveblog
Good morning and welcome to MailOnline’s liveblog as the King opens Parliament for the first time as monarch with a return to the full pomp and ceremony of the occasion.
Stay with us throughout today as Rishi Sunak seeks to make law and order a key election battleground with a series of measures in the the Speech promising tougher sentences for killers, rapists and grooming gang ringleaders.
Source: | This article originally belongs to Dailymail.co.uk