Corbyn requests immediate meeting with Queen to stop Boris Johnson suspending Parliament

Labour leader warns monarch of danger that the royal prerogative is being used ‘directly against the wishes of a majority of the House of Commons’

Andrew Woodcock
Political Editor
,Lizzy Buchan
Wednesday 28 August 2019 14:21 BST
Jeremy Corbyn accuses Boris Johnson of carrying out a 'smash and grab on our democracy' by asking the Queen to suspend Parliament

Jeremy Corbyn has written to the Queen requesting a meeting “as a matter of urgency” in a bid to stop Boris Johnson suspending parliament.

The move came after the prime minister revealed he had requested the monarch to use a procedure known as “prorogation” to halt sittings in both the Commons and Lords from the second week in September until a Queen’s Speech on 14 October.

In a letter to the Queen, the Labour leader argued that this would “deprive the electorate of the opportunity to have their representatives hold the Government to account” in the crucial weeks leading up to the scheduled date of Brexit on 31 October.

And Mr Corbyn revealed that opponents of a no-deal Brexit aim to table legislation next week to prevent it, before challenging Mr Johnson’s position with a vote of no confidence “at some point”.

“There is a danger that the royal prerogative is being set directly against the wishes of a majority of the House of Commons,” Mr Corbyn wrote.

“In the circumstances, as the leader of the offical opposition, on behalf of all my party members and many other members of parliament, I request you to grant me a meeting, along with other privy councillors, as a matter of urgency and before any final decision is taken.”

His letter was sent shortly after a cross-party meeting of Westminster groupings opposed to a no-deal Brexit, including Labour, Liberal Democrats and the Scottish National Party, to discuss how to counter what former cabinet minister Sir Ed Davey has described as an attempted “coup” by Mr Johnson.

Lib Dem leader Jo Swinson also wrote to the Queen to request an urgent meeting.

Lib Dem leader Jo Swinson says proroguing Parliament is an 'outrageous power grab' by Boris Johnson

Ms Swinson said: "This is a crucial time in our country's history and yet our prime minister is arrogantly attempting to force through a no-deal Brexit against the democratic will.

"He is outrageously stifling the voices of both the people and their representatives.

"It is appalling that the prime minister has forced opposition leaders into taking this action. However we must take all measures necessary to avoid a disastrous no-deal Brexit, for which there is no mandate."

Jeremy Corbyn hosted a meeting on Tuesday of senior MPson stopping no-deal Brexit (AFP/Getty )

Mr Corbyn said: “I’ve protested in the strongest possible terms on behalf of my party and I believe all the other opposition parties are going to join in with this and in simply saying suspending parliament is not acceptable, it is not on.

“What the prime minister is doing is a sort of smash-and-grab on our democracy in order to force through a no-deal exit from the European Union. What’s he so afraid of that needs to suspend parliament to prevent parliament discussing these matters?

“So when parliament does meet, on his timetable, very briefly next week, the first thing we will do is attempt legislation to prevent what he is doing and secondly we will challenge him in a motion of confidence at some point.’

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