THE first Queen’s speech of Boris Johnson’s premiership has been panned by MPs after the address was dominated by commitments to crackdown on crime.

With the Prime Minister pushing for a snap General Election, the legislative programme presented at the State Opening of Parliament was widely interpreted as a move by Johnson to set out his campaign agenda.

As well as law and order issues, immigration and the environment were also major elements of the programme, which had already been extensively trailed.

Despite the Government having rapidly lost its majority in the aftermath of Johnson’s appointment as PM, the speech introduced a package of 26 Bills, including seven relating to crime and justice.

These include legislation to keep serious criminals in prison for longer, impose tougher sentences on foreign offenders who return to the UK and provide better protection for victims of domestic abuse.

In response, SNP Westminster leader Ian Blackford tweeted: "The Queen's Speech was an election broadcast for the Tory Party more than anything else.

"A speech heavy on law & order from a Prime Minister willing to break the law. @BorisJohnson must sign the letter asking for an EU extension as the Benn act compels him if no deal is agreed."

Labour MP Jim McMahon added: "Really admire The Queen. Not sure I could have read that without swearing out loud."

The speech outlined a Sentencing Bill, which would change the automatic release point from halfway to two thirds for adult offenders serving sentences of four years or more for serious violence or sexual offences.

The Queen said: "New sentencing laws will see that the most serious offenders spend longer in custody to reflect better the severity of their crimes."

Other measures outlined in the speech include strengthening environmental protections, improving the NHS, and raising living standards through increasing the national living wage to £10.50 an hour.

On adult social care, the Government has pledged to "bring forward proposals" for reform, but the lack of a specific Bill dealing with the situation is likely to draw fire from the opposition.

At the same time ministers are preparing to rush through a Bill to ratify any Brexit deal Johnson is able to agree this week in Brussels in time for the UK to leave on the EU on October 31.

READ MORE: Queen's Speech 2019: Here's what you need to know

Ahead of the speech, Chancellor Sajid Javid announced he is planning to hold a Budget just six days after the UK's scheduled Brexit date.

He tweeted: "On 6th November I'll deliver Britain's first Budget after Brexit and set out our plan to shape the economy and deliver our infrastructure revolution."

With no Commons majority, it is highly questionable how much of the proposed legislation in the Queen's Speech ministers can get through Parliament before a general election.

And there is a major question mark over whether MPs will pass the legislative programme, which will go to a vote after several days of debate.

The law and order package includes a Bill to "drastically" increase the sentences for foreign criminals who return to the UK in breach of a deportation order, a move ministers say will help disrupt the activities of international crime gangs.

Other measures in the speech include:

  • Environment Bill setting legally binding targets to reduce plastics, restore biodiversity, improve water quality and cut air pollution.
  • Immigration and Social Co-ordination (EU Withdrawal) Bill to end freedom of movement and introduce a points-based immigration system from 2021.
  • Railway reform with a white paper setting out proposals to overhaul the current system of franchising and creating a new commercial model.
  • Action on building standards in the wake of the Grenfell Tower fire with the establishment of a new regulator with powers to impose criminal sanctions for breaches of building regulations.
  • The NHS Health Investigations Bill will create a new independent body with legal powers to ensure patient safety.
  • Mental health reform to reduce the number of detentions under the Mental Health Act by ensuring more people get the treatment they need.

Johnson is promising to deliver on a pledge by his predecessor Theresa May to ensure all tips are paid to waiting staff following an outcry that some major restaurant chains - such as Giraffe and Prezzo - were keeping as much as 10% of tips paid by card.

The Employment (Allocation of Tips) Bill will put a legal obligation on restaurateurs to "pass on all trips, gratuities and services charges to workers without deductions".

Labour has dismissed the decision to hold the speech before the Government goes to the country as a "cynical stunt".

Shadow home secretary Diane Abbott said: "This Queen's Speech is farcical. It is just an uncosted wish list which the Government has no intention and no means to deliver, and nothing more than a pre-election party political broadcast."

Green Party MP Caroline Lucas tweeted: "No matter how it's dressed up, it's clear that the Environment Bill will be an unambiguous weakening of current protections.

"It's also undermined by Government fixation with economic growth at all costs. Business as usual won't deliver a sustainable future."