Queen Elizabeth signals countdown to 2015 UK poll

  • Prasun Sonwalkar, Hindustan Times, London
  • Updated: Jun 05, 2014 08:15 IST

Uneasy coalition partners in the David Cameron government Wednesday tried to put up a united front as Queen Elizabeth gave her final speech to parliament before the 2015 general election.

Already battered politically by the rise of the UK Independence Party, the three main parties will face the fallout of the September referendum on independence for Scotland before the May 2015 general election.

Contrary to expectations that the Cameron government will announce tighter measures on immigration top deal with the UKIP challenge, there was no reference to the sensitive issue in the Queen’s speech.

The opposition said it was ‘staggering’ that the Speech did mention immigration at a time when tempers were rising over immigration from European Union member-states in recent years.

Tensions have been simmering between coalition partners, Conservative and Liberal Democrats, on various issue in recent years. As elections draw near, they are seen to have ‘run out of ideas’ to run the government.

The Queen’s speech that sets out the government’s agenda before parliament mainly focussed on Britain’s ailing economy, which has lately shown feeble signs of recovering.

The Queen announced that the government would bring a bill making it possible for voters to recall their MPS who misbehave.

The power to recall will be triggered only if the MPS are given jail sentences or if the House of Commons resolves that they have engaged in ‘serious wrongdoing’. Voters would then have to collect the signatures of 10% of constituents to force a byelection.

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