Clegg has written an article in The Independent today dismissing the event as a ‘waste of everyone's time'. He suggests that the speech is replaced by an emergency programme of reform designed to ‘clean up politics once and for all'.
The speech, which takes place on Wednesday, will set out plans to boost parents' and patients' rights, tackle knife crime, improve social care for the elderly and trim bankers' bonuses.
Mandate chief executive Sacha Deshmukh said: ‘I don't think anyone seriously thinks that any Government could abandon one of the key parliamentary occasions on which it can set out its agenda. I believe that Nick Clegg understood that he is going to be drowned out in a two-party battle this week and decided to grab a headline or two before the media, undoubtedly somewhat unfairly, fail to give him space in the next few days.'
Clegg has denounced this year's ceremony as ‘based on a complete fiction' because Gordon Brown is running out of time to enact his proposed legislation.
Weber Shandwick chairman of corporate communications and public affairs Jon McLeod said: ‘They will always want to stir things up if they are the third party and Nick Clegg's politic argument is fair enough.'
He added: ‘But realistically any Government cannot throw up its hands when there is a reasonable amount of time and say we can not legislate. It is more important to make sure that there is a stable foundation for the banking system going forward.'
Fleishman Hillard director Nick Williams argued: ‘The Government's only strategy ahead of the election is to try to demonstrate that it has not run out of legislative steam together with a marked improvement in the economy. Without the Queen's speech and its legislative programme they would be left policy naked in the eyes of the electorate.'
Lena Pietsch, Clegg's press secretary and director of media, has been handling media enquiries about the story and head of strategic policy Polly Mackenzie worked on the messaging in the piece.