Deputy PM says Boris Johnson shutting down Parliament would be 'outrage'


De facto Deputy Prime Minister David Lidington  and Chancellor Philip Hammond have both fired shots across the bow of wannabe PM Boris Johnson claiming that suspending Parliament to force through a No Deal Brexit would be a “constitutional outage”

The Cabinet Office minister, who acts at Theresa May’s stand-in for PMQs , made the comments on BBC Good Morning Scotland.

It comes after the front runner to be the next PM repeatedly ruled out taking proroguing Parliament off the table.

Earlier this week, ex-PM Sir John Major said he would be prepared to seek a judicial review to prevent Parliament being bypassed in such a scenario.

Mr Johnson dismissed Sir John’s “very odd” threat of being dragged through the courts, insisting Parliament should accept its responsibility to deliver Brexit.

Mr Lidington said: “I actually think the chances of that happening (Parliament being prorogued) are slim.

Boris Johnson has refused to rule out proroguing Parliament

 

“I think it would be a constitutional outrage for any government to seek to prorogue Parliament, to shut down Parliament in effect, just to stop it debating a subject which the government of the day found uncomfortable.

“I think that the precedent that that would set, for perhaps a hard-left government of the future, would be very damaging indeed.

“So I suspect whichever candidate wins as prime minister will fight shy of that, I would certainly do whatever I could to avoid such an outcome.”

Mr Johnson’s rival to succeed Theresa May at Number 10, Jeremy Hunt , has warned against the prospect of shutting down Parliament to push through a no-deal Brexit.

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Mr Lidington revealed he has voted for the Foreign Secretary to be the next PM, and he dismissed the significance of whether he would retain his front-bench status in making his decision.

Mr Lidington said he cast his vote for Mr Hunt after serving with both candidates in Cabinet

 

“I’m on record as supporting Jeremy Hunt and I have cast my vote in his favour, Mr Lidington said.

“I’ve sat with both him and Boris Johnson in Cabinet.

“I’ve been on the Conservative Party front bench, in government and in opposition, for 20 years consecutively now.

“I think what happens to me is pretty unimportant, what happens to the country is what matters to me in making my choice and I think if I look at how Jeremy Hunt has led the Foreign Office and dealt with some difficult international crises, including what we’ve seen this week with the episode in the Gulf, but also with the way he stood by Sir Kim Darroch, our ambassador in Washington.

“I think he’s got the combination of steel but also political intelligence in order to take on the top job.”





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