'A disgrace': MP lambasts Boris Johnson in furious tirade

Attorney general Geoffrey Cox has 'no shame at all' over unlawful prorogation, says Labour backbencher

Chris Baynes
Wednesday 25 September 2019 19:00 BST
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Barry Sheerman rages at Geoffrey Cox for 'barristers’ bluster' while attacking PM’s lack of morality

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Louise Thomas

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A Labour backbencher attacked the attorney general after he claimed MPs had “no moral right” to sit in parliament.

Barry Sheerman told Geoffrey Cox he was “a disgrace” for defending Boris Johnson’s unlawful prorogation during a fiery opening session in Westminster following the government’s Supreme Court defeat.

The long-serving Huddersfield MP said he had entered the chamber “thinking I felt sorry for the attorney general,” who has faced calls to resign over his advice to Downing Street that proroguing parliament was legal.

But he added Mr Cox had shown “no shame at all” as he answered questions in the Commons about the court ruling.

Mr Sheerman said: "The fact that this government cynically manipulated the prorogation to shut down this house so that it couldn't work as a democratically assembly. He knows that is the truth and to come here with his barrister's bluster to obfuscate the truth, and for a man like him, a party like this, and a leader like this leader like this – this prime minister - to talk about morals and morality is a disgrace.”

The attorney general had earlier provoked uproar in the House by calling parliament a “disgrace” for “blocking” Brexit and a general election.

“This parliament is a dead parliament,” Mr Cox said. “It should no longer sit. It has no moral right to sit on these green benches. This parliament is a disgrace. They could vote no confidence at any time, but they are too cowardly.”

Responding to Mr Sheerman, the attorney general added: “If the honourable gentleman thinks that the government should not be governing, tell his leader to bring a motion of no-confidence this afternoon … and we would be delighted to meet him, wherever he chooses, in front of the electorate.”

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