Queen's Speech a 'sham' that would see Boris Johnson embarrass monarch again: expert

Share this article
Have your say

A constitutional expert has claimed the Queen will be embarrassed again by Boris Johnson by being forced to give a "Conservative Party political broadcast" on the eve of an election.

The Prime Minister intends to prorogue Parliament for the second time within weeks from Tuesday, meaning a Queen's Speech could be held as early as 14 October.

Queen Elizabeth II

Queen Elizabeth II

But in a letter sent to The Times, University College London's professor of government and the constitution Robert Hazell has labelled the looming Queen's Speech a "sham".

READ MORE: Brexit: Can the Queen actually sack Boris Johnson?
Prof Hazell has argued the speech should be cancelled because it amounts to an "election manifesto" rather than a real programme of government.

Downing Street has confirmed they want to prorogue Parliament again and hold a Queen's Speech to allow the Government to set out its agenda for the next session.

The monarch has traditionally given a speech at the opening of a new parliamentary session.

How many points would Boris Johnson get in Bill Jamieson's Big Brexit Election Quiz?

How many points would Boris Johnson get in Bill Jamieson's Big Brexit Election Quiz?

But this event would hold added complications given the UK Supreme Court's decision to overturn the previous prorogation of Parliament, which had been given royal approval by the Queen, and the fact that a general election is likely before Christmas.

Prof Hazell said it was "contradictory for the government to persist with plans for a Queen's Speech while also calling for early elections".

"If the Queen's Speech is swiftly followed by an election, then it will be not so much the government announced the legislative programme for the next session, but more of an election manifesto," he wrote.

"The Queen will have been used to make a Conservative party political broadcast."

READ MORE: Boris Johnson intends to prorogue Parliament again from Tuesday
Mr Johnson has argued a Queen's Speech is needed for him to set out a "bold and ambitious domestic legislative agenda for the renewal of our country after Brexit".

But Prof Hazell countered: "With no majority, the government's legislative proposals ill be empty rhetoric. And there is the risk of further embarrassment to the Queen, who will be required to read a speech which is a sham."

Prof Hazell said the PM had already caused the Queen the "greatest constitutional controversy of her reign, he should not further abuse her position".