Wednesday, 8 Apr 2020

Boris Johnson ‘to suspend Parliament within days for October 14 Queen’s Speech’

Boris Johnson is planning to ask the Queen to suspend Parliament within days, it has emerged.

Multiple outlets report the Prime Minister is planning a Queen's Speech on October 14 to lay out his plan for government.

That will mean proroguing – suspending – Parliament beforehand, ending the current session, despite just weeks remaining before the Brexit deadline.

Reports suggest Parliament will sit only from a brief period, from September 3 to around September 11, before being suspended.

The move would confirm weeks of speculation that the Prime Minister plans to send MPs home to stop them blocking a no-deal Brexit .

And the shock tactic – set to be confirmed today by the Queen's advisors, the Privy Council, at her Majesty's summer retreat Balmoral – has enraged MPs campaigning against no-deal.

Suspending Parliament in mid-September would rob them of nearly all chance to stop no-deal Brexit via legislation – a plan agreed by Jeremy Corbyn and opposition leaders only yesterday.

It could also hold up plans to force a no-confidence vote in the government.

A former minister told The Times: "It's outrageous and profoundly undemocratic. It's not the action of someone who is serious about getting a deal."

Lib Dem Brexit spokesman Tom Brake declared: "His declaration of war will be met with an iron fist."

Deputy Labour leader Tom Watson tweeted: "This action is an utterly scandalous affront to our democracy. We cannot let this happen."

Downing Street did not return several texts and phone calls from the Mirror.

A Downing Street source told the BBC it would be a "bog-standard" Queen's Speech process about "improving the NHS, helping police fight violent crime, stopping violent criminals getting out early, investing in science + infrastructure, and attacking the cost of living with aggressive tax cuts + other measures".

The last Queen's Speech was held more than two years ago – the longest gap in 400 years. And MPs were due to leave the Commons anyway for their standard recess for party conferences, around the end of September.

But Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon tweeted: "It seems that Boris 
Johnson may actually be about to shut down Parliament to force through a no deal Brexit.

"Unless MPs come together to stop him next week, today will go down in 
history as a dark one indeed for UK democracy."

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