BORIS Johnson will be able to wrongfoot Sir Keir Starmer with a snap General Election after axing rigid parliamentary term times.
The PM today committed to ripping up the Fixed Term Parliaments Act (FTPA) that sets in stone Polling Day every five years.
It means he can go to the country when thrashing Labour in the polls to maximise his chances of victory.
HOAR revealed today that Cabinet Ministers believe the PM is already eyeing up an early election for as soon as Spring 2023.
But the Government insists the move is a win for democracy by “putting power back in the hands of the electorate”.
In today’s Queen Speech, Her Majesty said: “My Government will strengthen and renew democracy and the constitution.”
Other measures included in the Speech were:
- A new online harms bill to keep kids safe online
- Extra cash for the army
- Fresh plans for a post-Covid crackdown on obesity
- Extra help to buy homes with a planning bill to rip up red tape
- Protecting animals’ feelings in law – with proposals to force cats to get microchipped and new legislation to meet eco goals
- Ripping up the Fixed Term Parliaments Act so the PM of the day can call an election when they want
- Fresh plans for voters to take ID to the polls in future
- Immigration laws to stop people crossing the channel in small boats
- New measures to crack down on foreign spies
- A new NHS bill to reform and update the health system
The FTPA was brought in by David Cameron in 2011 to appease his Lib Dem coalition partners – means an election can only happen outside the cycle if backed by two-thirds of MPs or the Government loses a confidence vote.
It prevented an exasperated Mr Johnson from calling an election in 2019 after MPs blocked his Brexit deal – and was only finally held when Jeremy Corbyn backed the move.
The PM then only had to give seven weeks notice before Polling Day.
But he could even slash this campaigning window to as little four weeks, according to BBC Newsnight.
Legislation to repeal the FTPA has already been introduced in the House of Lords and was reaffirmed in today’s Queen’s Speech.
The next election is scheduled for December 12, 2023, exactly five years after the last poll.