Politics

Parliament suspended: The Queen approves Boris Johnson’s request to prorogue UK Parliament for one month until October 14



The Queen has approved plans to prorogue Parliament following a request from the Prime Minister. 

The Prime Minister will temporarily close down the Commons from the second week of September until October 14, when there will be a Queen’s Speech to open a new session of Parliament.

The PM spoke to the Queen on Wednesday morning, to request the end to the current parliamentary session in the second sitting week in September.

A Privy Council meeting was held at Balmoral to sign off Mr Johnson’s plan.

Sources said Commons Leader Jacob Rees-Mogg, who is Lord President of the Council, Lords Leader Baroness Evans and Chief Whip Mark Spencer attended the meeting with the Queen.

The move from the PM has sparked outrage and opposition leaders have written to the monarch in protest.

While Commons Speaker John Bercow said the move was a “constitutional outrage” designed to stop Parliament debating Brexit.

The Prime Minister has called it “completely untrue” to suggest that Brexit was the reason for his decision.

Boris Johnson made the request to the Queen on Wednesday morning 

He has insisted he needs a Queen’s Speech to set out a “very exciting agenda” of domestic policy.

“There will be ample time on both sides of that crucial October 17 summit, ample time in Parliament for MPs to debate the EU, to debate Brexit, and all the other issues,” Mr Johnson said.

Boris Johnson denies holding Queen’s Speech to stop Brexit debate

The Commons was expected to sit in the first two weeks of September and then break for the conference recess – although MPs had been planning to vote against leaving Westminster for the autumn party gatherings in late September and early October to allow more time to consider Brexit.

Mr Johnson’s move will now ensure that the Commons is not sitting during the period and MPs will return on the day of the Queen’s Speech.

Mr Bercow led a barrage of withering criticism of the Prime Minister, claiming he was committing an “offence against the democratic process”.

He added: “However it is dressed up, it is blindingly obvious that the purpose of prorogation now would be to stop Parliament debating Brexit and performing its duty in shaping a course for the country.

“Shutting down Parliament would be an offence against the democratic process and the rights of Parliamentarians as the people’s elected representatives.”

Former Chancellor Philip Hammond stressed it would be a “constitutional outrage if Parliament” were prevented from holding the Government to account “at a time of national crisis”.

Rebel Tory leader Dominic Grieve also tore into the Prime  Minister for “playing an extremely dirty game”.

He told Sky News: “This is tantamount to a coup really against Parliament… I’m fairly confident that he will not find it easy to get his way.”

Meanwhile, a petition demanding that moves to suspend Parliament are halted has hit 100,000 signatures, meaning it will be considered for debate by MPs.

The petition, which was created by Mark Johnston on Parliament’s website, states that Parliament should not be prorogued unless there is another extension of the Brexit deadline or the idea of leaving the European Union is scrapped altogether.

It says: “Parliament must not be prorogued or dissolved unless and until the Article 50 period has been sufficiently extended or the UK’s intention to withdraw from the EU has been cancelled.”

The pound plunged more than a cent against the dollar and almost a cent against the euro as news emerged of the planned shutdown of Parliament, fuelling fears of an EU crash-out, before recovering some ground.

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