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Monday, November 15, 1999 Published at 15:22 GMT


Special Report





Rebellion over Queen's speech

All but three Liberal Democrat MPs vote against the government over its legislative programme, putting pressure on the party's pact with Labour.





Blair defends Labour's plans

Prime Minister Tony Blair has rejected Tory charges that Labour's new programme is not meeting the people's priorities.





Queen announces Lords shake-up

A modernising package of measures was announced by the Queen at the annual state opening of Parliament.



Hague jibes hit their mark
Some of the traditions of the Queen's speech remained - including the opposition leader giving the prime minister a hard time.

Queen's speech at a glance
A full list of the Bills announced by the government for the next parliamentary session in the Queen's speech.

Programme dominated by Lords reform
Tony Blair's second parliamentary session includes a raft of key bills but will be marked by what has been omitted and the row over the Lords.

Film star peers into parliament
Film star Jamie Lee-Curtis has attended her first, and possibly her last, state opening of parliament as she joined peers' wives for the Queen's speech.

The notable omissions
Some government commitments are noteworthy because of their absence from the parliamentary schedule set out for the coming year.

The Queen's speech in full
The full text of the Queen's speech from the opening of parliament.

Reign of e-commerce declared
The UK Government says it aims to make Britain the best place in the world to trade online through its Electronic Commerce Bill.

Blair hails Internet revolution
The UK prime minister says the government is preparing Britain for a new commercial revolution brought about by the Internet.

Tories: No measures to improve lives
The Conservative Party chairman has attacked the Queen's speech for "containing no measures to improve people's lives".

Food standards put on back burner
The government's White Paper to establish an independent food standards agency is not part of this year's Queen's speech.

Cautious welcome for gay sex at 16
Campaigners welcome plans to lower the gay age of consent but voice concern at outlawing sex between young people and adults in positions of trust.

Welfare overhaul helps aged and disabled
The government has announced plans for stakeholder pensions and help for the disabled as part of its package to reform the welfare state.

Transport caught in a jam
The Queen's speech says little about transport, squeezed out by the government's concentration on Lords reform.

Hereditaries hear their fate confirmed
The government will draw up a Bill to end the right of hereditary peers to sit and vote in the House of Lords.

Asylum process faces reform
The government has laid out a raft of measures to improve the asylum system and speed up the claims process for refugees.

Speech heralds decentralisation of power
The Queen's speech shows how power is being returned to the regions with virtually no mention of Scotland or Wales.

Workers to be given more rights
The government has included a Fairness at Work bill in its legislative programme for next year, giving the legal right to union recognistion for the first time ever.

'Far-reaching reform' for teachers
Teachers' pay is set to be linked to performance, the Queen's speech has announced.

Financial markets get stronger super regulator
The Financial Services Authority will be given greater power, to create a safer environment for investors and tackle market abuse, in a move announced by the Queen at the state opening of parliament.

State Opening loses some pomp
Buckingham Place and the government have reduced the pomp surrounding the State Opening of Parliament.

An idiot's guide to making laws
Bills contained in the Queen's Speech must go through several stages before they can become law.

The Queen's speech: Full coverage
BBC News Online sets out the winners and losers in the Queen's speech, the political reaction and the changes that will affect people's lives.



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Live coverage of the UK Parliament plus a host of analysis from Westminster














The Queen's Speech in full




Nick Assinder column




Tony Benn reviews the week