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    Queen's speech promises freedom and fairness


    by ODN


    David Cameron's coalition Government launched its first legislative programme on Tuesday - with flagship Bills on schools, political reform and a promise to scrap ID cards.

    The Queen's Speech contains 22 Bills and one draft Bill and, speaking from her throne in the House of Lords, the sovereign told assembled peers and MPs: "My Government's legislative programme will be based upon the principles of freedom, fairness and responsibility."

    The speech also pledged: "The first priority is to reduce the deficit and restore economic growth."

    There were few surprises in the widely-leaked programme of Britain's first coalition administration since 1945.

    Measures were also promised to inject new private capital into the Royal Mail, put an annual cap on non-EU migrants, allow for elected sheriff-style police bosses, and create a dedicated Border Police Force.

    The sale of alcohol below cost price would be banned under a Social Responsibility Bill, and councils and police would be given greater powers to close down trouble-making clubs and bars. Other pledges include moves to slash the number of quangos and cut bureaucracy to save £1 billion a year.