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I'll cut tax for 2m in West Midlands, David Cameron pledges

The Prime Minister said announcements in the Queen's speech will make it easier to create jobs and wealth in

David Cameron makes his closing speech to the Conservative conference 2014 in Birmingham

The Prime Minister has promised a tax cut for more than two million people across the West Midlands in plans set out in the Queen’s speech .

However, councils in the West Midlands came under more pressure to create a directly-elected mayor for the region under a Conservative government .

David Cameron said: “In past recoveries, we’ve seen regions in our country left behind as London roared ahead.

“No more. We will make sure everyone has the infrastructure they need to succeed.”

Parliament got back to work following the Conservative general election victory as the Queen made her annual visit and told an audience of MPs and members of the House of Lords about the Government’s plans.

Measures include a total ban on “legal highs”, with suppliers facing up to seven years in jail.

And there will be laws giving powers to new super-councils known as combined authorities - but only if they agree to be led by an elected mayor.

Birmingham, Dudley, Sandwell, Walsall and Wolverhampton have already agreed to join forces to create a combined authority, and leaders of Solihull and Coventry councils have said they hope to sign up.

But there is likely to be resistance to the idea of an elected mayor to oversee the region.

One measure that appeared to have been delayed was a proposal for a British Bill of Rights to replace the Human Rights Act - following a rebellion by Conservative MPs including Birmingham MP Andrew Mitchell.

Mr Mitchell, MP for Sutton Coldfield, had warned that axing the Human Rights Act “will send all the wrong signals on the British commitment to expanding human rights around the world”.

Mr Cameron said he would lead a “one nation” government committed to ensuring the economic recover is “felt by everyone” in every part of the country.

He said: “The first job of a One Nation Government is to get even more people into work. In the last Parliament, Britain created two million jobs - more than the rest of the countries in the EU put together.”

And the Prime Minister highlighted plans to invest in transport in the West Midlands, saying: “It means big, much-anticipated works going ahead - from making improvements to the M6 and M42 to upgrading the M5 and A5; from High Speed rail to developing plans to electrify the mainline between Birmingham and Bristol, and to Derby.

“That’s what the West Midlands needs if it is to grow and create jobs.”

But Labour highlighted plans included in the speech to make it harder for unions to organise legal industrial action - and to introduce “English votes for English laws”, to reduce the influence MPs from Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland have on legislation affecting England.

Labour’s acting leader Harriet Harman said: “The Queen’s speech will talk of a ‘One Nation approach’ – yet Cameron sets the nations of the country against each other.

“The Queen’s speech will talk of helping ‘working people’ – yet Cameron threatens basic rights at work.

“The real question for this Queen’s speech will be whether it improves our country, our communities and people.”

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