Your commercial news round-up: King’s Speech, pro-Palestine protest, EU equality laws, Carol Vorderman

updated on 09 November 2023

Reading time: three minutes

This week’s round-up takes a look at the first King’s Speech in 70 years, plans for a pro-Palestine protest on Saturday 11 November, the government’s decision to reinstate EU equality laws and Carol Vorderman’s departure from BBC Radio Wales. Read LawCareers.Net’s summaries below, and take a look at the Commercial awareness hub for our tips on developing this essential skill and demonstrating it in your applications.

  • This week saw the first King’s Speech in 70 years as King Charles III outlined 21 new laws that ministers plan to pass in the next year. Among the proposed bills are a Sentencing Bill, Criminal Justice Bill, Leasehold and Freehold Bill, and a Tobacco and Vapes Bill. King Charles said: “My government will create legislation to create a smoke-free generation. Renters will benefit from stronger security of tenure and better value. Legislation will be introduced for future licensing of new oil and gas fields.” While Rishi Sunak said the plans would change the country “for the better”, bringing “more jobs, more investment and higher growth”, Labour leader Keir Starmer described them as “serving up more of the same, more sticking plasters, more division”.  

Although Home Secretary Suella Braverman’s plans to restrict the use of tents by rough sleepers in England and Wales didn’t feature in the King’s Speech, sources claim that Braverman said the proposal, which has been met with backlash from homeless charities, opposition parties and Tory MPs, hasn’t been dropped.

  • Plans for a pro-Palestine protest in London on Saturday 11 November (Armistice Day) have been criticised by Prime Minister Rishi Sunak. Since the Israel-Gaza war began, there have been protests held each Saturday in London and other cities around the world but Sunak has described the timing of the march on 11 November as “provocative and disrespectful”. Sunak has claimed that he’ll hold the Met Police Chief Mark Rowley “accountable” after Rowley said that he was committed to making sure the protest takes place without disruption. The protest’s organisers have said that the march will not go near memorials with Ben Jamal, who’s part of the Palestinian Solidarity Campaign behind the march, accusing the government of manufacturing a row. Jamal said: "There's something particularly askew with an argument that says a protest calling for a ceasefire is somehow inappropriate on Armistice Day.”
  • Meanwhile, according to Sky News, the government revealed that it plans to reinstate EU equality laws before they expire at the end of the year, following concerns raised by trade unions and employment lawyers. The decision to effectively replicate EU legislation has been made in a bid to avoid a “clear gap in protections” for workers, raising “legitimate questions” about Britain’s decision to leave the EU. The news was welcomed by Max Winthrop, chair of the Law Society's Employment Law Committee, who said that it demonstrates the “complexity of junking 40 years’ worth of [EU] legislation”.
  • Having hosted the Saturday morning show on Radio Wales for the past five years, broadcaster and media personality Carol Vorderman has left over the BBC’s new social media guidelines. According to Vorderman, BBC Wales management told her she “must leave” because she’d “breached the new guidelines”. Vorderman took to X (formerly Twitter) to explain the situation, stating she wasn’t prepared to lose her voice on social media. The guidelines introduced by the broadcaster outline that “individuals working in news and current affairs and factual journalism (all divisions) – along with all senior leaders – have a particular responsibility to uphold the BBC’s impartiality”.

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