UK government delays Queen’s Speech

The official opening of the UK parliament and the Queen’s Speech — a key annual event in which the government lays out its policy agenda — will take place two days later than scheduled following the result of the snap election last week.

Andrea Leadsom, leader of the House of Commons, announced the date change on Thursday.

“The Government has agreed with Buckingham Palace that the State Opening of Parliament will take place on 21 June 2017,” Leadsom said in a statement, according to the UK Press Association.

The Queen’s Speech had been scheduled for June 19, but there has been speculation among British media outlets for days that a delay appeared to be in the works following the Conservative Party’s lackluster election performance.

The announcement comes as British Prime Minister Theresa May continues to court the Democratic Unionist Party in a bid to secure an alliance to remain in power.

The announcement of a DUP-Conservative deal was expected to come earlier this week but is believed to have been postponed after the fatal high-rise fire in West London on Wednesday.

Earlier this week, DUP leader Arlene Foster met with the British Prime Minister to discuss a potential partnership.

“Discussions are going well with the government and we hope soon to be able to bring this work to a successful conclusion,” Foster wrote on Twitter after the meeting.

Foster had previously said an alliance between the DUP and Conservative Party would help defend Northern Ireland’s position as the UK prepares to begin Brexit negotiations.

“The next few weeks represent a real opportunity for everyone in Northern Ireland to heed the will of the people and capitalize on the opportunities that lie ahead for everyone,” Foster wrote in a Belfast Telegraph article on Monday.

On Thursday, the UK government issued a joint statement confirming Brexit talks would begin on Monday.

It read: “David Davis, Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union, and Michel Barnier, the European Commission’s Chief Negotiator, agreed today to launch Article 50 negotiations on Monday, 19 June.”