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30 minutes
First broadcast:
Saturday 29 May 2010

Benedict Brogan of The Daily Telegraph reviews the first Queen's Speech, and looks at the implications for the coalition government, the opposition, and politics across the United Kingdom.

The coalition government will inevitably face strains where the two parties have very different views on the same issue, and in the first proper debate on domestic policy one of these - nuclear power - came to the fore. Tim Yeo, a pro-nuclear green Conservative, and Simon Hughes, a long-time green from the Liberal Democrat benches, discuss whether the minor partners have got the best of the coalition agreement on this contentious subject.

For all its substance, this week has also been about pageantry and occasion. Don Foster, the Liberal Democrat MP who seconded the Loyal Address from the government benches, joined Chris Mullin, who filled the role for Labour in 1997 and Lord Ken Baker, who did it in 1979, to talk about process, humour and coalition government.

If being in government sometimes takes a bit of getting used to, spare a thought for the recent ex-government, now consigned to opposition. Andrew Tyrie, a Conservative MP elected in the great Labour landslide of 1997, joined the new Labour MP Liz Kendall to discuss making that transition.

Finally, as the announcements of the final ministerial posts laid bare the very English nature of the government, the First Ministers of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland gathered in Belfast to plot strategy. Plaid Cymru MP Hywel Williams discusses whether at a time of economic difficulty, policy argument could polarise on territorial lines.

Editor: Giles Edwards.


4 items
  • Nuclear Energy

    Simon Hughes and Tim Yeo discuss the coalition's approach to nuclear energy.

  • Queen's Speech

    LibDem Don Foster, Conservative Lord Baker and former Labour MP Chris Mullin, recall the occasions when they seconded the 'Gracious Speech' in the House of Commons.

  • Opposition

    Conservative Andrew Tyrie and newly-elected Labour MP, Liz Kendall, contemplate the shock of the sudden transition from government to opposition.

  • Devolution

    Plaid Cymru MP, Hywel Williams, considers the post-election 'State of the Union'.


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