With a majority of over 200 and a weight of expectations, what happens next for Sir Kier Starmer’s new Labour government?

The importance of the first 100 days of a new government cannot be understated. Within that period the new incumbent has the greatest political capital to take bold actions, as well as the greatest opportunity to lay the blame for ‘inherited’ problems on its predecessor.

Given the timing of the election, Labour’s first 100 days are a little complicated and will look something like this:

17 July This date has been set for the State Opening of Parliament and the King’s Speech. Before then parliament will have gone through the process of electing a Commons Speaker and swearing in the fresh intake of MPs.

The King’s Speech will provide an insight into the new government’s immediate priorities and could reveal the first surprises.

Early August? The House of Commons was due to start its summer recess on 23 July before the election was called, but that would not leave enough time for the debate of the King’s Speech. Unless the summer recess is delayed, the new government won’t have time to get to work on those commitments.

13 September Presuming one of Chancellor Rachel Reeves’s first acts was to give notice to the Office for Budget Responsibility on 5 July to start preparing its Economic and Fiscal Outlook, then – perhaps ominously – Friday 13 September would be the earliest date she could give her Budget. However, speculation is growing that there will be no Budget before October. One reason is 22 September…

22 September The Labour Party conference in Liverpool runs from 22–25 September 2024. Previously parliament has had a three-to-four-week recess to cover the conference season. The new government may reduce the length of this recess, although it is unlikely that Labour MPs will be at Westminster rather than at what is set to be a victory conference.

12 October Counting from 5 July, 12 October will mark the end of Labour’s first 100 days. As suggested, we could still be waiting for Rachel Reeves’ first Budget. At her first speech and press conference at the Treasury on 8 July, she confirmed she will present an interim report to Parliament on the state of the government’s finances, or Labour’s “spending inheritance”, before the recess, with the Budget to come later. She may combine her fiscal premiere with the announcement of the Spending Review as the two are closely related.

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