Conservative manifesto gutted as key election pledges fail to make Queen's Speech

Queen Elizabeth says Brexit deal is government's top priority in speech to parliamentReuters

A string of Conservative Party general election pledges, from extending grammar schools to introducing a cap on energy prices, failed to make the Queen's Speech on 21 June. The ceremony, part of the state opening of parliament, saw the monarch unveil the legislative programme of the government until the next general election.

But with Theresa May losing the Tory majority of MPs in the House of Commons at most recent election, her administration has dropped its most controversial policies.

That includes a so called "dementia tax", which would have seen elderly people with more than £100,000 ($126,923) in assets pay for their social care costs, a plan to hold a free vote on bringing back foxhunting and as a proposal to means-test winter fuel payments.

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"Having dropped everything from the Dementia Tax to fox hunting I assume the only reason they have proposed a Space Bill is so they can shoot their manifesto into space and pretend it never existed," said Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron,

"People up and down the country are seeing our schools and hospitals in crisis. Proposed Tory cuts will leave our children in overcrowded classes in underfunded and crumbling schools, the sick left on trolleys in hospital corridors and the vulnerable without the vital services they rely on. This speech is bereft of any real solutions to these issues."

However, the government did announce numerous pieces of draft legislation around the UK's split from the EU. The Conservatives will seek to deliver a Trade Bill and Customs Bill to help Britain conduct its own trade policy once it has split from the EU's customs union.

The Queen, who was accompanied by Prince Charles as the Duke of Edinburgh fights an infection, also unveiled an Immigration Bill to establish post-Brexit migration rules, as well as the Great Repeal Bill, which will pull EU law into UK law on the day the UK splits from the bloc.

"My government will seek to maintain a deep and special partnership with European allies and to forge new trading relationships across the globe," The Queen said.

"New bills on trade and customs will help to implement an independent trade policy, and support will be given to help British businesses export to markets around the world."

The nine-minute-long speech also notably failed to mention Donald Trump's planned state visit to the UK, ramping up speculation that the US President may have delayed the trip over mass protest fears. Instead, The Queen said she looked forward to welcoming King Felipe and Queen Letizia of Spain in July.

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The major policy announcement comes as May still tries to broker a "confidence and supply" deal with the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) and after the two-year-long Brexit talks between the UK and EU begun.

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