This is the final King’s Speech ahead of an expected general election next year. Its focus was the economy, crime and justice and strengthening society. There was no mention of conversion therapy in either the speech or subsequent briefing paper, which suggests it is no longer a priority for this government.

A King’s Speech with the general election in mind

My ministers’ focus is on increasing economic growth and safeguarding the health and security of the British people for generations to come”, said King Charles III. Put another way, the King’s Speech was all centred around an upcoming general election next year.

The accompanying briefing note published minutes after the speech outlined the 21 bills in full and structured them under three headings: 

  1. Growing the economy
  2. Strengthening society
  3. Keeping people safe

The proposed bills include Holocaust Memorial Bill, a Terrorism (Protection of Premises) Bill to place a statutory requirement on public venues to have a policy in place to protect the public from a terrorist act, along with measures to reform the housing market. 


The advocacy team and I will spend the next week processing the briefing in full and will produce further reflections on today’s speech for members in due course, but if you are interested to read the government’s briefing note please read here.

"We will bring forward bills that strengthen our society, help people feel safe in their own communities and give a sense of pride in the place they call home"
Official portrait of Rishi Sunak crop 1
Rishi Sunak MP for Richmond (Yorks)
prime minister

Does the conversion therapy merry-go-round end today?

After months of speculation, today we learn that introducing legislation to ban conversion therapy is no longer a priority for this government. 

This of course has been met with strong reaction from activists and some Conservative backbench MPs. Alicia Kearns Conservative MP for Rutland and Melton and chair of the Foreign Affairs Committee, took to X (platform formerly known as Twitter) and LBC yesterday evening to share how heartbroken” she was that there would not be any mention of it in the speech. 

One possible explanation for dropping legislation around conversion therapy is that it is not a core issue to the general public and at this moment in time, the prime minister and his government need to appeal to the public in order to reverse trends of electoral defeat.

In theory, this ends a five-year commitment to introduce a bill, but we anticipate as the Criminal Justice Bill or Sentencing Bill goes through parliamentary process, there will be backbench MPs looking to insert specific clauses and amendments linked to conversion therapy. Other parties may also pick up on this ahead of the coming election. Please continue to pray for the Westminster team as we plan our parliamentary engagement this session. 

Politicians need a praying church and a vocal church

My initial reflections after listening to the speech and glancing at the paper is how weary political leaders and policymakers have become. The speech lacked imagination, vision and hope, which are so desperately needed for British society today, and the geo-politics we are seeing unravelling around the world.

As I go about my daily work, I am more convinced than ever that politicians need the prayers, wisdom and hope that the church carries and believes in. Jesus is the hope for our nation! Will you stand in the gap for your local community, intercede, pray and call our governments to consider the most vulnerable in our society? I do hope so. The better future” the government speak of is not possible without a praying and vocal church.

Remember to tune into Cross Section podcast this week, where the team will provide further analysis on today’s King’s Speech.