IT was the most talked about Queen's Speech for years - before and after it was delivered.

For Theresa May, the 27 bills read aloud by Her Majesty were a brutal reminder of her diminished authority, the speech's contents conspiciously lacking many of the headline-grabbing policies that helped destroy her parliamentary majority.

The revival of grammar schools, a free vote on foxhunting, means-tested winter fuel payments, and the much maligned “dementia tax” to fund social care - none appear in the government’s legislative programme.

Brexit bills inevitably dominate, and there is plenty more to stimulate debate. But how is it being received in Cumbria?

Labour MP John Woodcock who represents the Barrow and Furness constituency levelled stinging criticism at the "arrogance" of the Conservatives.

He said: "The fact the Tories have had to drop their obsession with fox hunting and grammar schools from the Queen's Speech shows how important it was to cut this arrogant, washed=up government down to size in the election.

“But with Theresa May's government looking more unsteady by the day, the public will have no confidence she will even be able to deliver the measures that are included in this thin programme.

“Most worrying is the apparent determination to break up the nuclear regulatory regime governing Heysham and west Cumbria as part of taking Britain out of the EU. The Tories' dogmatic stance could cause chaos in the nuclear industry and cost thousands of local jobs."

Of 27 bills and draft bills unveiled in Mrs May's first Queen's Speech, eight are devoted to the complex process of leaving the EU, including a Repeal Bill to overturn the 1972 Act which took Britain into the European Economic Community, and separate bills on customs, trade, immigration, fisheries, agriculture, nuclear safeguards and the international sanctions regime.

In the wake of the Grenfell Tower fire and a string of terror attacks, the prime minister also announced plans for a civil disaster taskforce and a new commission for countering extremism, as well as a review of counter-terror strategy and the creation of an independent public advocate to act on behalf of bereaved families.

Tim Farron, Lib Dem MP for Westmorland and Lonsdale, said: “This speech shows a Conservative government in crisis and out of ideas. The Conservatives have not only jettisoned half their manifesto commitments, they have produced a programme utterly bereft of solutions to the biggest challenges we face."

Cumbria's newest MP, Conservative Trudy Harrison, added: “I was encouraged by the Queen’s Speech, it was a positive speech for Copeland.

"I was pleased to hear that over parliament there will be a commitment to nuclear safeguarding and road and rail infrastructure so that we can share the prosperity from the South to the North, as well as fairer funding for our schools and increased support for mental health services.

“Clearly one of the main focus for government will be getting the best deal from Brexit but, for me, it was encouraging to hear the importance of technical apprenticeships, ensuring that every young person has an opportunity to continue the legacy of world class trades that we have in abundance in Copeland.”

Councillor Stewart Young, the Labour Party's group leader on Cumbria County Council, described the Tory Party's decision to strike a deal with the DUP as “outrageous” and risky to the Northern Ireland peace process.

“It's dangerous - and possibly illegal," he said. "This represents a conflict of interest for the government. Under the (Good Friday) agreement, the government is required to remain neutral and they have to act as a referee between the two sides.

“Everything depends on the two sides being able to trust the government. It's a very dangerous situation and, if they can't restore democratic government in Northern Ireland, we all know the alternative.”

Cllr Young is convinced that the government will have to have another general election well before it gets through its legislative programme – possibly as early as the autumn. The Conservatives are riven by internal divisions, he says.

Asked about the bill to create a commissioner for domestic abuse victims, Cllr Young said it failed to recognise one of the root causes of the problem – austerity-driven policies that cut support services for victims.

“If they're serious about tackling such problems they should restore the funding which has been cut,” he says.

“The police are part of that. But the voluntary sector and local authorities have suffered a massive reduction in income. It's all very well having someone [in this role] but it needs to be backed up by additional resources.”

Cllr Young is scathing also about other bills – including the one that includes a “right to be forgotten” and the Space Industry Bill, to enable a new generation of commercial space flight operations.

He says: “You have to sort out your priorities.

“Our NHS is falling apart and we have a huge shortage of nurses. There are people still stuck in hospitals because there's no care package available. As for the space flights, maybe Theresa May is thinking of blasting some member of her cabinet into space.

“I wouldn't blame her if she was.”