Boris Johnson asks Queen to suspend Parliament

Parliament will sit for a week before being suspended

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Boris Johnson has spoken to the Queen to request that Parliament is suspended until October 14.

In a letter to all MPs he said: “I spoke to Her Majesty The Queen to request an end to the current parliamentary session in the second sitting week in September, before commencing the second session of this Parliament with a Queen's Speech on Monday 14 October.”

He said Parliament will still have the opportunity to debate the government’s approach to Brexit and can vote on any Brexit deal on October 21 and 22.

The Prime Minister made an opaque reference to opposition efforts to prevent him passing a no-deal Brexit and said: “it is only by showing unity and resolve that we stand a chance of securing a new deal that can be passed by Parliament”.

The decision to suspend Parliament so close to the October 31 Brexit deadline has sparked outrage from opposition parties.

Deputy Labour leader Tom Watson called it an “utterly scandalous affront to our democracy” and said “we cannot let this happen”.

Green Party MP Caroline Lucas described the suspension of Parliament as “the act of a cowardly Prime Minister who knows his reckless no-deal Brexit will never gain the support of MPs” and “a constitutional outrage”.

Liberal Democrats leader Jo Swinson said it was a “dangerous and unacceptable course of action which the Lib Dems will strongly oppose”.

Scotland First Minister Nicola Sturgeon tweeted: “Unless MPs come together to stop him next week, today will go down in history as a dark one indeed for UK democracy.”

Conservative MP and former Chancellor of the Exchequer, Phillip Hammond, said it would be a “constitutional outrage if Parliament were prevented from holding the government to account at a time of national crisis”.

However other Conservative MPs are less concerned. Conservative Party chairman James Cleverly tweeted: “To put it another way: government to hold a Queen’s Speech, just as all new governments do.”

Fellow Tory MP Zac Goldsmith said: “Proroguing Parliament, which happens most autumns, is 'a constitutional outrage' - according to the very same people who only a few days ago were trying to impose Ken Clarke as PM.”

Read more

Kate Hoey: Blocking Brexit is ‘beginning of the end of democracy’

People’s Vote: ‘More democracy is not anti-democratic’