THE King’s Speech has been branded “insipid” and a “farce” while the Tories have been accused of abandoning Scots with their policy agenda.

King Charles – who was booed on his way into Westminster by anti-monarchy protesters - set out the Government’s legislative plans for the upcoming session in the House of Lords on Tuesday, which included a bill to hold annual oil and gas licensing rounds.

Under the new plans, the North Sea Transition Authority will invite applications for new production licenses every year, which the UK Government said would provide greater “certainty and confidence” for businesses and investors.

Climate activists and green groups have condemned the move while the speech – part of the State Opening of Parliament – was noticeably bereft of any further support for those struggling with the cost of living.

SNP politician Steven Bonnar – who crossed his fingers while swearing an oath to the Queen in 2019 – said he refused to go into the Lords to hear the speech.

READ MORE: 'Organised begging' to be targeted under new Tory laws

Sharing a picture of King Charles delivering the speech, he said on Twitter/X: “I opted to read the #KingsSpeech rather than traipse into the Lords to hear it…but a man dressed like talking about ways to help ease the cost of living crisis?”

The SNP in general were particularly displeased no powers were transferred to Scotland to allow Holyrood to tackle the cost of living crisis, insisting the “threadbare” speech showed why independence is “essential”.

The party wanted to see the Government commit to a £400 energy bill rebate, mortgage interest tax relief and action to reduce food prices. 

The party’s economy spokesperson Drew Hendry said: “This threadbare King’s Speech shows the Tories are bereft of ideas and have completely abandoned people in Scotland.

“While the SNP is helping families with a council tax freeze and progressive policies like the Scottish Child Payment, the Tories are offering no help at all with the cost of living and no new powers for the Scottish Parliament - showing why independence is essential to deliver economic growth and boost household incomes.”

SNP MSP Kaukab Stewart said the speech was “full of contradictions”, pointing out a commitment to new oil and gas licences amid “warm words” on tackling climate change.

Pete Wishart, meanwhile, branded the speech “insipid” while Gavin Newlands deemed the event – which involves a multitude of archaic traditions - a “farce”.

SNP MP and self-professed republican Tommy Sheppard added: “It’s a rag, tag and bobtail of measures only masquerading as a programme for government.”

Alba MP Neale Hanvey described the speech as “more of the same, with Scotland’s North Sea revenues paying the way while Scots struggle to pay their heating bills".

He added: “Today’s King’s Speech was completely tone deaf to the fact that tens of thousands of millions of pounds are flowing to the UK treasury from Scotland whilst across our land of energy plenty we have Scots living in fuel poverty.

"Outright opposition to new development in the North Sea is daft, but the King’s ransom that Scots are asked to pay to stay part of the UK is obscene."

The Greens branded the announcement as a "polluters’ charter” and a missed opportunity for advancing the renewables sector and tackling high energy bills. 

MSP Mark Ruskell said: “The Prime Minister seems determined to follow a scorched earth approach to our climate and with this polluter’s charter his UK Government is failing in its duty to protect people from harm.

"There was nothing in this speech to suggest he is taking the climate crisis seriously, but everything for oil and gas firms to be jubilant about, when the focus could have been on advancing our renewables sector."

The Scottish Trade Union Congress (STUC) specifically attacked the UK Government’s “shambolic” plans for minimum service rules for train operators and ambulance workers during strike action.

READ MORE: State Opening of Parliament: 'Pantomime' is 'cover up' for royals

Ministers are hoping the legislation will come into effect before Christmas and it will ensure 40% of trains still run on strike days.

Under a law passed by Parliament earlier this year, ministers can set minimum service levels for health, fire and education services, as well as border security and nuclear decommissioning.

STUC general secretary Roz Foyer said: “Workers throughout the country will be aghast at the priorities of this dying Tory government as they fail to address the growing inequality across the UK and instead turn their sights on workers.

“Clearly running out of ideas and in a grotesque attempt to frame this legislation as reasonable, the Tory UK Government’s plans for minimum service levels are a shambolic, unmitigated attack on our movement that not only undermines devolution but undercuts our democratic right to strike.

“It’s clear they are absolutely running scared of the collective action of empowered workers and know fine well that their scapegoating of our movement will not last.

“The Scottish Government must, in so far as possible, take a stand of non-compliance with this legislation across every sector of our workforce.”

Plaid Cymru’s Westminster leader Liz Saville-Roberts described the King’s Speech as a “distraction” and accused the UK Government of being too concerned with culture wars.

She said: “This King's Speech was a distraction by a desperate government. People want their politicians to focus on solutions to the UK inequality crisis, but this government is more concerned with culture war obsessions.”