Portsmouth MP and activist brand plan to suspend Parliament in September ‘reckless' and 'undemocratic’

The Houses of Parliament in Westminster. Picture: Steve Parsons/PA Wire
The Houses of Parliament in Westminster. Picture: Steve Parsons/PA Wire
Share this article
Have your say

A PORTSMOUTH MP and a fervent activist have branded plans to suspend Parliament next month ‘reckless' and ‘extremely undemocratic’.

The outrage comes after the move to prorogue Parliament on September 9 was confirmed by prime minister Boris Johnson this morning. 

A Queen's speech will follow on October 14, setting out the government's plans with weeks to go until the October 31 Brexit deadline. 

Stephen Morgan, the Labour MP for Portsmouth South, accused Mr Johnson of using Her Majesty the Queen to 'centralise power’ in an ‘insult to our great democracy’. 

It comes as the suspension prompts fears MPs will have little time to pass legislation to prevent exiting the European Union without a deal. 

‘We know a no deal would have catastrophic consequences for UK jobs, our nation’s economy and it would decimate our NHS,' Mr Morgan said.

‘Brexit has already cost the UK £600m a week in lost growth whilst an estimated £1.5bn has been spent on preparations. It’s absolutely right we continue to work across party to stop a disastrous no deal exit.

‘It is now clear that Mr Johnson is not only running scared of the people for not giving them a final say, but now running scared of the voice of the people in Parliament.

‘Yesterday I signed the Church House Declaration in defiance of a PM who is willing to bypass democracy and prorogue Parliament.

‘For the people of Portsmouth I will continue to work with others across party against this PM’s dangerous ego-driven campaign to remove the voice of the people at this time of national crisis.

‘I will do everything I can to stop Mr Johnson crashing our great country out of the EU with a no deal.’ 

Mr Johnson said claims the government was stopping MPs from stopping a no-deal situation are ‘completely untrue'. 

Vocal Portsmouth activist Jon Woods, chairman of the city’s Unison branch, said the prorogation is 'extremely undemocratic and of serious concern'. 

‘People from all sorts of different viewpoints will see this as a retrograde step and I know the People's Assembly has already called for a demonstration,' he said. 

‘The problem is, at least if Parliament is sitting, it's technically possible issues are raised, but without Parliament sitting, there’s no chance.’

The suspension will begin just days after MPs return to Parliament after the summer recess. 

Conservative MP for Gosport, Caroline Dinenage, has defended the move – branding it indicative of the government's ‘new energy' under Mr Johnson. 

‘Without a new session of Parliament the government can’t introduce much needed legislation to tackle crime or improve the NHS,' she said. 

‘Only those in the Westminster bubble could be outraged about Parliament having less time to go round and round in endless debates on Brexit.

‘I suspect most of my constituents would be relieved  that the government is acting on their concerns, pushing forward to deliver Brexit and bring about the other changes we all want to see.'