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On Monday 16th, the former chief executive of the Countryside Alliance, Simon Hart MP, was appointed Secretary of State for Wales in part of a ‘mini-reshuffle’ carried out by the Prime Minister after the general election.
On Thursday 19th, the Queen delivered a speech at the State Opening of Parliament, setting out the Government’s legislative programme for the forthcoming parliamentary session. The Queen began by stating that the Government’s priority is ‘to deliver the United Kingdom’s departure from the European Union on 31 January’ and seven of the announced bills were related to Brexit, including the Withdrawal Agreement Bill, which is expected to be brought forward for second reading tomorrow. On the Government’s domestic agenda, a strong emphasis was placed on the Government’s proposal of the NHS Funding Bill and the NHS Long Term Plan Bill, however other measures included plans for an Australian-style points-based immigration system from 1 January 2021 and longer sentences for violent criminals.
On Friday 20th, former Richmond Park MP Zac Goldsmith was awarded a peerage, allowing him to remain in Cabinet as an environment minister.
Also on Friday, the telecoms regulator Ofcom published is Connected Nations 2019 report, measuring progress in broadband and mobile services in the UK. Headline findings include:
Parliament has risen for recess during the Christmas period. It will return on Monday 6th January.
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