Has a new administration ever faced such enormous and immediate pressures in its first two days?
Yesterday, the biggest economic intervention of any peacetime government was overshadowed within hours by the death of the nation’s longest serving head of state. Events had moved so quickly that for a time it wasn’t even clear who held the suddenly crucial role of Lord President of the Council, whose job it is to convene the Accession Council.
Penny Mordaunt had been given the role by new Prime Minister Liz Truss but not yet handed her seal of office by the Queen.
We now understand that as Ms Mordaunt has already been sworn as a Privy Counsellor then she can convene the Council.
Parliamentary business has been halted and the Commons, due to sit at 9.30 this morning, will instead sit at noon for MPs - lead by the Prime Minister - to pay tribute to the Queen. They will sit again tomorrow for more tributes and for MPs to start swearing allegiance to the King.
It’s understood that MPs do not have to renew their oath to the new monarch, although they may chose to. Peers on the other hand do have to swear a new oath. The business of government has already turned towards managing the period of mourning and the funeral with departments from the MoD to transport involved. Ministers met last night and are gathering again in Downing Street this morning. There is one important bit of unrelated business that ministers will be anxious to see completed; that energy price cap that was announced yesterday morning needs to be in place before 1 October.
Ministers are now trying to establish how soon any legislation might need to get through Parliament to bring that into force.
The remarkable life of the Queen remembered in our latest episode of What You Need To know...