Conservative MP for Wycombe, Steve Baker, writes...

The General Election is over. The Conservatives have been returned to Government with an overall majority, winning 331 seats in the House of Commons. New and existing MPs have descended on Parliament to acquire offices and to be sworn in as Members.

I write before the State Opening of Parliament on Wednesday 27 May. It is a largely ceremonial affair marking the commencement of a session of Parliament. The Queen’s Speech will set out the Government’s programme for this first session.

We can expect Her Majesty’s speech to include measures necessary to implement the Conservative manifesto.

A key pledge was to negotiate real change in Europe, an issue on which I took an active role in during the last Parliament. Conservative attempts to legislate for an in-out referendum by 2017 were foiled by other parties. That referendum bill should now reach the Lords smoothly. It remains to be seen how their Lordships react to it.

As part of the UK’s changing relationship with Europe comes the pledge to apply the European Convention on Human Rights through a British Bill of Rights to replace the Human Rights Act. We will make our own Supreme Court the ultimate arbiter of law in this country.

Other constitutional measures will include further devolution to Scotland, Wales and our cities. This is part of the Conservative pledge to build a Union for the 21st century. It will include giving English MPs a veto over matters only affecting England. Many of us will wish to ensure England’s towns and counties are remembered and appropriate powers devolved.

As in 2010, Conservatives believe the old system of trying to run everything in our country from the centre of London is broken. We will devolve greater control across the country.

Other bills will implement pledges on education and childcare, taxation, enterprise and employment, housing, planning and security. Many of us will have questions about both the Counter-Terrorism Bill and the Communications Data Bill: balancing the very real threats we face against protecting liberty and privacy is a delicate matter which is bound to provoke a range of views.

The Conservative Manifesto was a plan of action to take the country forward, building on the success of the last five years. The State Opening of Parliament marks the start of these plans being debated in the House of Commons and I am certainly looking forward to being a part of the process as your representative.

If you would like to comment on the Government’s programme, please email me: