Rishi Sunak has claimed to have “turned a corner” since the chaotic Liz Truss era and “put the country on a better path” after issuing his first legislative programme as Prime Minister.

It followed King Charles III delivering his and Mr Sunak’s first King’s Speech, which set out 20 Bills to go through Westminster before the general election expected next October.

Critics called them “cheap gimmicks and reheated policies”.

Many Bills were confirmations of previously announced measures, such as a plan to phase out smoking by raising the legal age for purchasing tobacco every year.

However controversial plans floated by Home Secretary Suella Braverman to clear homeless people off the streets were conspicuously missing.

Nor was there a Bill to ban so-called conversion therapy for LGBT+ people after Mr Sunak faced a backlash from some quarters of the Tory party.

Rail reform measures to offset the scrapping of the HS2 leg to Northern England only made it as far as a draft in the speech.

In a text written by the Government, the King condemned the “barbaric acts of terrorism against the people of Israel” in his address to Parliament.

He said: “My ministers will work closely with international partners to support Ukraine, strengthen Nato and address the most pressing security challenges.

“This includes the consequences of the barbaric acts of terrorism against the people of Israel, facilitating humanitarian support into Gaza and supporting the cause of peace and stability in the Middle East.”

Many Bills were geared towards creating dividing lines with Labour ahead of the election.

There was a focus on law and order in England and Wales, including previously-announced proposals for killers convicted of the most horrific murders to never be released from jail.

Rapists and other serious sexual offenders would not be let out early from prison sentences under the plans.

Other measures include handing police greater powers to enter a property without a warrant to seize stolen goods, such as phones.

The King said there would be a series of measures “to keep communities safe from crime, anti-social behaviour, terrorism and illegal migration”.

He told MPs and peers in the House of Lords: “A Bill will be brought forward to ensure tougher sentences for the most serious offenders and increase the confidence of victims.

“My ministers will introduce legislation to empower police forces and the criminal justice system to prevent new or complex crimes, such as digital-enabled crime and child sexual abuse, including grooming.”

Senior Tories hope a focus on issues seen as traditionally Conservative will help Mr Sunak overturn Labour’s consistently double-digit poll lead.

However the limited scope and familiarity of many of the proposals pointed to Chancellor Jeremy Hunt’s autumn statement later this month as being more important.

Many Tories are demanding tax cuts - or at the least the promise of them - something Mr Hunt has repeatedly warned the strain on the public finances makes very difficult.

The King, despite his own passionate environmentalism, also announced a Bill to ramp up North Sea oil and gas exploration with annual licensing rounds.

The package of 20 Bills and a draft also included proposals to:

– Pave the way for the introduction of self-driving cars and buses on UK roads by putting in place a legal framework centred on safety and user protection.

– Subject streaming giants to a new video-on-demand code drafted and enforced by Ofcom that will apply similar standards to those enforced on television

– End no-fault evictions south of the border – but not until a new court process and stronger possession grounds for landlords are in place

In a statement accompanying the speech, Mr Sunak admitted there was “more to do” on cutting NHS waiting lists in England, but insisted he had “made progress” after patients waiting for hospital treatment hit a record high.

He said inflation was down as part of efforts to halve it this year, and the economy was growing, although the Bank of England has warned of a year of stagnation.

He also said “we are stopping the boats”, arguing Channel crossings by illegal migrants were down on this time last year despite 26,600 people making it over from France. 

He said: “We have turned the corner over the last year and put the country on a better path.

“But these immediate priorities are not the limit of our ambition. 

“They are just the foundations of our plan to build a better future for our children and grandchildren, and deliver the change the country needs.

“With this historic King’s Speech, we are rising to that challenge. We are changing our country for the long term, delivering a brighter future.”

UK Liberal Democrat leader Sir Ed Davey said: “The country is crying out for change and hope for a brighter future, instead all Rishi Sunak had to offer was cheap gimmicks and reheated policies.

“There was nothing but empty words on the biggest issues facing the country, from the NHS crisis to the sewage scandal.

“There were no real solutions for patients left waiting months in pain for treatment, homeowners seeing their mortgages skyrocket or communities seeing their local rivers ruined by sewage.

“It shows the Conservative Government is out of touch, out of ideas and deserves to be kicked out of office.”

Attacking the lack of a Bill to ban conversion therapy, the LGBTQ+ group Stonewall said those affected by conversion therapy practices “deserve better”.

Director of external affairs Robbie de Santos said: “The UK Government’s failure to deliver a ban on conversion practices after five years of promises is an act of frightful negligence – in doing so, it has given the green light for the abuse against LGBTQ+ people to continue unchecked.

“Rather than getting mired in a cynical cultural war, the UK Government should be making decisions based on what the evidence and expertise said.

“England and Wales’ 1.5 million LGBTQ+ people, and their families, deserve better.”

Conversion therapy practices seek to change or suppress someone’s sexual orientation or gender identity.

Labour has pledged a “no loopholes” trans-inclusive ban on conversion therapy if elected.

Scottish Secretary Alister Jack said:  “The first King’s Speech in more than 70 years was a very special moment, and I was honoured to be in the Chamber for it. 

“This is an ambitious UK Government legislative programme, which delivers for people in Scotland and right across the whole of the UK. 

“Our programme builds on the Prime Minister’s priority to grow the economy, fully secure the benefits of Brexit, and build the most competitive and supportive environment for businesses to capitalise on new technologies.

“Our new oil and gas licensing scheme will boost our country’s energy security, and protect vital jobs in the North East of Scotland. 

“These measures will help ensure that the whole of the UK is more prosperous, more innovative and more secure.”

The list of Bills in full: 

Bills which will apply in Scotland:

Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) Implementation Bill

Animal Welfare (Live Exports) Bill

Automated Vehicles Bill

Investigatory Powers Act Reform Bill

Criminal Justice Bill

Economic Activity of Public Bodies (Overseas Matters) Bill (Carryover Bill)

Data Protection and Digital Information (No.2) Bill (Carryover Bill)

Draft Rail Reform Bill 

Media Bill

Offshore Petroleum Licensing Bill

Terrorism (Protection of Premises) Bill

Digital Markets, Competition and Consumers Bill (Carryover Bill)

Bills which will not apply in Scotland:

Tobacco and Vapes Bill  (however consultation on UK-wide application)

Holocaust Memorial Bill (Carryover Bill) [Will create a UK memorial in London]

Arbitration Bill

Renters (Reform) Bill (Carryover Bill)

Football Governance Bill

Leasehold Bill

Pedicabs (London) Bill

Sentencing (Whole Life Orders and Serious Sexual Offences) Bill

Victims and Prisoners Bill (Carryover Bill)