After the death of the Queen was announced last Thursday, MPs and peers stepped away from Parliament to observe a period of mourning for the monarch.
But when they return to work in Westminster next week after the state funeral, they will have to hit the ground running with a busy in-tray of events and announcements coming their way.
We take a look at what is happening in the week ahead.
Truss restarts new premiership
Just 48 hours after the Queen asked Liz Truss to form a government, the new prime minister was back on the steps of Downing Street to announce the passing of the head of state.
Since then, she has travelled the length and breadth of the UK to take part in memorial events in support of the new King, even giving readings in some historical moments.
But there will be more typical prime ministerial duties to contend with next week, as well as the pressure to get to grips with the challenges facing households and businesses across the country.
Even before the funeral takes place on Monday, Ms Truss will be hosting world leaders and dignitaries travelling to the UK for the event.
While Number 10 has said the occasion would not be used as a diplomatic exercise, reports suggest the PM will hold bi-lateral meetings with US President Joe Biden and other world leaders for the first time while they are in the country.
She is then expected to head to the United Nations General Assembly on Monday night in her first international appearance as the UK’s leader.
On the agenda in New York will be a range of issues, from climate change to poverty. But the ongoing war in Ukraine is sure to dominate proceedings, and will be picked up in the Commons later in the week during a general debate scheduled for Thursday.
It will be a big moment for Ms Truss and the UK on the world stage.
While it will be back to the day job for MPs, the cloud of the Queen’s passing will still loom large over Westminster.
Wednesday in the Commons is assigned for members to pledge allegiance to King Charles by taking the oath or making the affirmation.
This isn’t constitutionally necessary – when MPs first join the Commons, they pledge their allegiance to the monarch and their “heirs and successors”.
However, the House thought it was important to give members the opportunity to do it as soon as they return from the period of mourning.
Setting out a health agenda
On Thursday, attentions will turn to more pressing matters – one of which will be how the government plans to tackle the ongoing issues in the NHS.
Waiting lists are at a record high in the country, ambulances are queueing up outside hospitals as patients struggle to get beds, and staff morale is thought to be at an all-time low following the pandemic.
Rumour is rife that the new health secretary and Deputy Prime Minister Therese Coffey is due to make a statement to the Commons on this day to outline her plans to address those challenges – one of Ms Truss’s top three priorities, according to her speech on the steps of Downing Street after becoming prime minister.
It is not yet clear what Ms Coffey will say, though some reports have suggested she is reviewing Boris Johnson’s obesity strategy, including restrictions on the promotion of junk food, in light of the soaring cost of food.
However, after being appointed to the role, she promised to get a grip on the “A, B, C, D” issues – namely ambulances, backlogs, (social) care, and doctor/dentist access – so the focus could fall on those key areas.
Making up for lost time
While MPs will be back next week, time will be short, as they are all due to pause proceedings again to head off to their party conferences the following week – and not expected to return until Monday 17th October.
But with so much to do, especially ahead of the winter months, the Commons authorities have now confirmed a motion will be put forward to cut that break short by a week so MPs return to the House on Tuesday 11th October, but they will need to sign it off before it becomes a reality.
The fiscal event
It was during Ms Truss’s announcement of her plan to tackle rising energy prices that news of the Queen’s ailing health broke.
Before all eyes turned to Balmoral, she outlined an energy price guarantee (EPG) to restrict bills to £2,500 for two years from October – about £500 higher than now, but £1,000 less than Ofgem’s incoming price cap rise.
However, details of how much the policy would cost remained unknown, and she promised more would come to light – including support for businesses and how she would implement the tax cuts she proposed during the leadership contest – during a “fiscal event” in the Commons before the month is out.
Time is of the essence due to the mourning period, but Sky News understands the new Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng will take to the dispatch box on Friday to flesh out the detail.
We already know he plans to reverse the National Insurance rise introduced in April to pay for health and social care.
Other reports have surfaced that he will axe the cap on banker’s bonuses, introduced in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis to limit annual pay-outs to twice a banker’s salary, in an attempt to inspire economic growth.
But most eyes will be on any detail of how he plans to pay for everything, as the new government has still not instructed the Office for Budget Responsibility to carry out its own forecast.
As we mentioned, a big and much anticipated part of this announcement will be help for businesses.
During Ms Truss’ speech to Parliament last week, she promised equivalent support to firms as she was planning to give to households, as they currently aren’t protected by any price cap on their energy bills and are facing huge spikes.
The detail is due to be outlined in Mr Kwarteng’s fiscal event, so businesses are waiting with bated breath.
It will be slightly more complicated to bring it into force as there are no existing rules to limit how much companies can get charged for their energy use, meaning the government may have to push through emergency legislation to make their plans a reality.
This means parliamentary time will be needed to get the law through.
With an already tight timetable, MPs will be facing pressure to get the job done as soon as possible.
After a busy first week back, it will be off to conferences for MPs of all stripes as the parties hold their annual gatherings across the country – apart from the Liberal Democrats who cancelled their event as it clashed with the Queen’s funeral.
While the events may not get voters’ pulses racing, they are key moments in the calendar for any party.
It will be Ms Truss’s first one as leader, and having only secured the backing of 57% of the membership to win the race – with even less support among her own MPs – it will be a key moment for her to try to win over the doubters and prove she has what it takes to win them the next election.
For Labour’s Sir Keir Starmer, it will also be an important moment to build on the momentum of the party that has seen its poll ratings increase during a tumultuous summer for the Tories, and make his case that he is the right figure to lead them off the opposition benches and into power.
But, in the wake of the Queen’s death and in the midst of a cost of living crisis, the events could be more muted than previous conferences, and attendance could be lower.
Source : Sky.com