Cumbria's politicians have clashed over the the government's plan for new legislation, outlined in today's Queen's Speech.

With a list of 27 bills, the Conservative government's list of parliamentary bills is inevitably dominated by Brexit and the looming task of ensuring laws currently framed in European legislation are returned to Westminster.

But critics point out that most of the most controversial Tory manifesto policies have been omitted from the Speech.

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.

“Clearly, the bulk of this legislative programme was always going to be about dealing with the consequences of Brexit,” says Carlisle MP John Stevenson.

“It will be about the transfer of European legislation back to the British Parliament, and the interesting ones for Cumbria will be those bills dealing with the environment, agriculture, and nuclear issues.”

The programme reflects the new political reality of a Conservative government with no outright majority in the House of Commons.

He says: “Some of the things which have not been kept I am quite relaxed about, but other things could have been handled much better in our national campaign – things that would have been beneficial for this country in the long-run.

“For example, the winter fuel allowance could have been withdrawn for higher rate tax payers and kept for everybody else. It shouldn't go to people who don't need it.”

On whether the government will last long enough to work through its list of bills, Mr Stevenson is confident that his party and the DUP party of Northern Ireland will achieve a workable deal.

“I don't think there's an appetite – either in the country or in Parliament – for another general election. The Irish are used to negotiating right up to the wire, but I don't think the DUP will want to bring down a Conservative government, and allow the prospect of a Corbyn led government ever getting near the levers of power.“Besides, the Labour themselves are still remarkably divided about the fundamental direction that they want to go in.”

Stewart Young, the Labour Party's group leader on Cumbria County Council, describes 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 says.

“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.”

Mr 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.

Asked about the bill to create a Commissioner for domestic abuse victims, Mr Young says it fails 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.”

Mr 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.”

South Lakes MP Tim Farron suggests the Queen's Speech is evidence of a government “on the edge” and out of ideas.

He says: “The Conservatives have not only jettisoned half their manifesto commitments; they've produced a programme utterly bereft of solutions to the biggest challenges we face.

“Cumbria’s schools will see their budgets slashed by £28 million, while our health services face a mind-boggling £572million of cuts.

“Care services remain starved of vital funds.

“These Tory cuts will leave our children in overcrowded classes in underfunded and crumbling schools, the sick left on trolleys in hospital corridors and the vulnerable without the vital services they rely on.

“Yet this Queen’s Speech provides no real solutions to these issues.

“Theresa May should ask all parties to come together and negotiate the best possible Brexit deal for the whole country.”

Workington MP Sue Hayman describes the Queen's Speech as “threadbare.”

“The Tory programme for government promises nothing in the way of investment for our community in Cumbria or our country as a whole,” she says. “All that we have been promised are further spending cuts to vital public services.

“Many flagship commitments from the Tory election manifesto have been dropped – from bringing back fox hunting, to disastrous social care reforms, the return to grammar schools, and a number of cuts which would harm pensioners.

“It’s clear that Theresa May hasn’t a hope of getting these through Parliament, so has ditched them from her legislative agenda.”

Pete Moran, of Cumbria Law Centre, which gives free legal advice to those on low incomes, welcomes the proposals to scrap landlord agents fees – an issue which affected some newly homeless flood victims in Carlisle.

“We're pleased to see an end to agents' fees for tenants on the horizon as this is yet another impediment to people on low incomes getting into secure housing,” he says.

“We welcome a will to make further progress on reducing the gender pay gap though this seems to need some more detail as the original Conservative manifesto was more purposeful, speaking of ‘burning injustices’.

“It was also more specific about extending full employment rights to workers in the ‘gig economy’ so we hope that this is still the intention.

“Finally, here has also been much talk of an intention to ‘revise’ our human rights legislation. Naturally, as an organisation devoted to civil rights, especially for vulnerable people, we always urge Government to think very carefully before any move to curtail civil liberties and freedoms.

“No mention was made of the previously mooted Green Paper regarding a review into the legal aid cuts and resulting justice gaps.

“This remains a major issue for our client group and the free advice sector as a whole and we will need to work hard to keep it on the agenda.”