MPs support PM but opposition condemn ‘threat to democracy’ - The Evesham Observer

MPs support PM but opposition condemn ‘threat to democracy’

Evesham Editorial 30th Aug, 2019   0

PRIME Minister Boris Johnson’s decision to suspend Parliament for a month has been slammed by opposition parties who have accused the Government of ‘denying Parliament a voice’ as the Brexit deadline of October 31 approaches.

Members of Evesham Labour Party branded the controversial move as an ‘outrage and a threat to our democracy’ while Green Party MEP Dr Ellie Chowns criticised the actions of a ‘small number of people inside Number 10’.

Mr Johnson won approval from HM The Queen to suspend Parliament from the middle of September until October 14 on Wednesday (August 28).

Much of the time taken up by the suspension would have been lost due to the party conference season when Parliament traditionally doesn’t sit but opponents criticised the Prime Minister for his action.

“By denying Parliament a voice at such a crucial time, this government is treating the people with contempt,” said Evesham Labour Party member Helen Russell.

“This is clearly an attempt to stop Parliament debating Brexit and Boris Johnson is obviously trying to avoid parliamentary scrutiny. This is an appalling threat to our democracy and sets a very dangerous precedent.”

Dr Chowns said: “However this might be dressed up by Boris Johnson, the truth is clear to everyone: it’s a cynical attempt to close down debate and evade accountability on the biggest political issue of our times.

“The West Midlands stands to suffer more than most from a no-deal Brexit due to the importance of manufacturing to the local economy. There is no democratic way to crash out – this decision has to go back to the people.”

Evesham and Pershore’s MPs threw their weight behind the Prime Minister’s move, with Nigel Huddleston stressing the current session of Parliament had lasted more than 340 days, the longest session in more than 400 years.

The Mid Worcestershire MP, who serves as an assistant whip in Mr Johnson’s Government, said: “It is only right that the new Prime Minister has the opportunity to set out his priorities and the domestic agenda for a new session of Parliament in a Queen’s Speech.”

“By holding the Queen’s Speech on October 14 this will provide MPs ample time to debate the Government’s overall programme and approach to Brexit as well as the conclusions of the European Council which takes place on October 17 and 18.

“MPs will have several days of debate following the Queen’s Speech and then vote on October 21 and 22, once we know the outcome of the council and whether a new deal with the EU has been secured.

“Should the Prime Minister succeed in agreeing a deal with the EU, Parliament will then have the opportunity to pass the Bill required for ratification of the deal ahead of October 31. It remains my priority and the Government’s priority to secure a deal with the EU, but it is also the responsible thing to do to continue preparations for leaving the EU, with or without a deal.”

West Worcestershire MP Harriett Baldwin, who has put her name forward for the chair of the prestigious select committee which will oversee the Chancellor’s work, called for colleagues to back former Prime Minister Theresa May’s Withdrawal Agreement.

“My preference, along with 90 per cent of my party colleagues, has been to back the Withdrawal Agreement offering certainty to local people and local businesses as we deliver on the result of the 2016 referendum and leave the European Union,” she said.

“Because of Speaker Bercow’s ruling it can’t be brought back without changes, and as yet changes requested by the Government have not been forthcoming from the EU.

“MPs who want to avoid No Deal will be able to support the deal when Parliament returns in October after party conference, should the EU continue with its intransigence.”

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