World News

UK government could delay Queen's Speech amid post-election turmoil

Posted June 12, 2017 8:31 a.m. EDT

Theresa May, Britain's embattled Prime Minister, appears to be on the verge of delaying the Queen's Speech -- a key annual event in which the government lays out its policy agenda for the coming year.

At the regular daily press briefing, Downing Street pointedly declined to confirm whether the event, which was due to take place on June 19, would go ahead as planned on that date.

The BBC and Sky News quoted unnamed sources saying it would be delayed by a few days as May struggled to reach a deal to ensure the support of the Democratic Unionist Party, essential if she is to command a majority in the UK parliament.

Traditionally, the first Queen's speech following a general election puts forward the winning party's legislative program and a list of laws the party hopes to push through in the coming year.

But after a bruising election result that resulted in a minority government, May cannot be sure of getting enough votes in the House of Commons to have the Queen's Speech approved.

The party's only chance of achieving an overall working majority is to partner with the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), a political outlier from Northern Ireland, which is demanding a package of measures on finance in return for support in Parliament.

An update on whether the Queen's Speech will go ahead is expected soon from the office of the Leader of the House of Commons, Andrea Leadson, the Downing Street spokesperson told CNN.