BORIS TAKES THE GLOVES OFF

In his­toric move, he sus­pends Par­lia­ment to thwart anti-Brexit MPs ++ Speaker brands it an ‘out­rage’ ++ Cor­byn sparks fury by de­mand­ing meet­ing with Queen ++ Scots Tory leader set to quit today

Daily Mail - - Front Page - By Ja­son Groves Po­lit­i­cal Ed­i­tor

BORIS John­son went to war with MPs last night by sus­pend­ing Par­lia­ment for nearly five weeks.

The Com­mons will now not sit from early Septem­ber to Oc­to­ber 14 – slash­ing the time avail­able to block a No Deal Brexit.

The Prime Min­is­ter said the high-risk move was to al­low him to present his do­mes­tic agenda in a Queen’s Speech. But Com­mons Speaker John Ber­cow warned of a ‘con­sti­tu­tional out­rage’ while Labour’s Jeremy Cor­byn asked the monarch to in­ter­vene. And Ruth David­son, a Re­mainer who leads the Scot­tish To­ries, is ex­pected to de­liver a ma­jor blow to the Prime Min­is­ter today by quit­ting.

The scene is set for a mo­men­tous clash when MPs re­turn to West­min­ster next week af­ter their long sum­mer break. The odds of a snap elec­tion and No Deal have both short­ened.

Se­nior Government sources in­sisted Mr John­son would hon­our his ‘do or die’ pledge to take Bri­tain out of the EU on Oc­to­ber 31 even if MPs passed a law or­der­ing him to avoid No Deal.

An ally said he would also refuse any re­quest to de­lay Brexit again, adding: ‘We could get into some

pretty deep waters, but we are ready for that. If MPs pass a no-con­fi­dence vote next week he won’t re­sign.

‘We won’t rec­om­mend another government, we’ll dis­solve Par­lia­ment, call an elec­tion in Novem­ber.

‘He will not seek an ex­ten­sion to Brexit – we are leav­ing.’ The dra­matic gam­bit came as:

De­tails emerged of a plan by Re­mainer MPs and Mr Ber­cow to take con­trol of the Com­mons agenda as soon as Par­lia­ment re­turns next Tues­day to try to block No Deal;

Sir John Ma­jor ac­cused Mr John­son of try­ing to ‘by­pass a sov­er­eign Par­lia­ment that op­poses his pol­icy on Brexit’ and said he was con­sid­er­ing le­gal ac­tion to pre­vent it;

The Lawyer mag­a­zine re­ported that Mish­con de Reya has lodged an im­me­di­ate le­gal in­junc­tion on be­half of Gina Miller to pre­vent the Government sus­pend­ing Par­lia­ment. She said Mr John­son was hi­jack­ing the Queen’s pre­rog­a­tive power;

A leaked doc­u­ment re­vealed Mr John­son’s Brexit ad­viser David Frost has told Brus­sels the PM wanted a deal but was ‘not fright­ened of No Deal’;

Com­mons Leader Ja­cob

‘Right to call their bluff’

‘Pro­foundly un­demo­cratic’

Rees-Mogg in­sisted Par­lia­ment must act on the ‘will of the peo­ple’;

Don­ald Trump backed the PM’s move, say­ing Mr John­son was ‘ex­actly what the UK has been look­ing for’;

The pound slumped by 1 per cent on the ba­sis No Deal was more likely;

Talk of an early elec­tion reached fever pitch as the Trea­sury con­firmed Chan­cel­lor Sa­jid Javid would al­lo­cate bil­lions of pounds to schools, hos­pi­tals and po­lice;

Se­nior Labour MPs called for guer­rilla tac­tics to com­bat Mr John­son’s ploy, in­clud­ing bar­ri­cad­ing them­selves in Par­lia­ment and a gen­eral strike;

Brexit hard­liner Mark Fran­cois warned that re­mov­ing the Ir­ish back­stop would not be enough to per­suade Tory Euroscep­tics to back a with­drawal agree­ment.

Mr John­son’s de­ci­sion to stage a Queen’s Speech on Oc­to­ber 14 was kept se­cret from all but a hand­ful of Cabi­net min­is­ters. In a let­ter to MPs yes­ter­day morn­ing, he pointed out that the cur­rent ses­sion of Par­lia­ment is the long­est in al­most 400 years and ‘needs to be brought to a close’ to al­low the Government to set out its do­mes­tic agenda.

He said MPs would have an op­por­tu­nity to vote on his pro­pos­als and any last-minute Brexit agree­ment on Oc­to­ber 21 and 22, just over a week be­fore the UK is due to leave.

Par­lia­ment had been due to rise for a three-week re­cess from mid-Septem­ber for party con­fer­ence sea­son and Tory sources said Mr John­son’s de­ci­sion means MPs would lose only four sit­ting days at the start of Oc­to­ber, and po­ten­tially another two or three days next month.

For­mer Tory leader Iain Dun­can Smith backed the move, say­ing it was time for rebel MPs to ‘put up or shut up’. He added: ‘They have had plenty of time. The PM is quite right to call their bluff.’

Op­po­si­tion lead­ers, in­clud­ing Mr Cor­byn and the Lib­eral Demo­crat leader Jo Swin­son, wrote to the Queen de­mand­ing an ur­gent meet­ing. But Buck­ing­ham Palace later an­nounced the sus­pen­sion had been agreed af­ter Mr Rees-Mogg took a del­e­ga­tion of min­is­ters to Bal­moral.

Labour’s Shadow Chan­cel­lor John McDon­nell ac­cused Mr John­son of stag­ing a coup.

And Mr Ber­cow said: ‘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.’

Lord Ker­slake, the for­mer head of the civil ser­vice, said White­hall man­darins would have to con­sider ig­nor­ing min­is­ters’ in­struc­tions dur­ing pro­ro­ga­tion.

He told The Guardian: ‘ We are reach­ing the point where the civil ser­vice must con­sider putting its stew­ard­ship of the coun­try ahead of ser­vice to the government of the day.’

Scot­land’s First Min­is­ter Nicola Stur­geon said the Government was turn­ing into a dic­ta­tor­ship, adding: ‘ Today will go down as the day democ­racy died.’

For­mer chan­cel­lor Philip Ham­mond de­scribed the move as ‘pro­foundly un­demo­cratic’ and said it would force rebels to act next week.

Mem­bers of the so- called Re­main Al­liance were tightlippe­d about their strat­egy last night. But one source said MPs were work­ing with Mr Ber­cow to stage an emer­gency de­bate on Tues­day.

The Speaker is ex­pected to al­low MPs the chance to try to pass a new law re­quir­ing Mr John­son to seek a fur­ther Brexit de­lay.

Tory ex- at­tor­ney gen­eral Do­minic Grieve yes­ter­day said he was will­ing to join Labour in vot­ing down the Government.

Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage said a con­fi­dence mo­tion was now cer­tain and a gen­eral elec­tion more likely.

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