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ID cards will be ‘first to go’ in government legislative plans

HM the Queen

A leaked draft of tomorrow’s Queen’s Speech has revealed that the controversial identity cards will be one of the first schemes to be scrapped by the new coalition government.

The Queen’s speech, due to be delivered tomorrow at the state opening of Parliament, was leaked by two newspapers.

The Sunday Telegraph and the Sunday Mirror reported that a late draft of the address revealed plans to introduce legislation to increase the number of academies, as well as a programme of political reform which could include a parliamentary reform Bill, with measures to provide for fixed term parliaments and powers to enable voters to get rid of MPs found guilty of serious wrongdoing.

The leak was condemned by the shadow leader of the Commons, Rosie Winterton, who said that she would be calling on the government to explain what had happened.

“If it is right that details of the Queen’s speech have been given to Sunday newspapers before it has been submitted to parliament, the new government will have to explain to parliament their apparent attitude of disregard,” she told the Guardian.

The first Bill to be published, according to the Telegraph, will be an academies Bill, enabling more schools to become academies – one of the central planks of the Conservatives’ election manifesto.

A Bill scrapping planned local government changes in Exeter and Norwich was said to be due to follow in days, with the scrapping of Labour’s ID cards – which were fiercely opposed by both coalition partners – soon after.

When MPs return from the summer recess, the paper said the government will embark on public service reforms – with two Bills from the Work and Pensions Department, including an overhaul of the benefits system.

Other measures were said to include a health Bill to reduce health inequalities and a second education Bill to increase the number of state education providers.

The draft is also said to list an energy security and green economy Bill, and a police reform and social responsibility Bill.

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