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Irish minister D'Arcy compares Boris Johnson to Cromwell as Brexit tensions rise after prorogation move

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has been compared to Oliver Cromwell.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson has been compared to Oliver Cromwell.

Irish ministers have distanced themselves from comments made by a government colleague who compared Boris Johnson to Oliver Cromwell.

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In a tweet, which he later deleted, Minister of State Michael D'Arcy said the Prime Minister's decision to suspend parliament was "perhaps the most anti-democratic decision since the Protectorate government, which Oliver Cromwell set up, was established".

“This was a military dictatorship, Cromwell dismissed his parliament when they disagreed with him,” he wrote.

Mr D'Arcy was instructed to remove the tweet by the Taoiseach’s Office.

Cromwell was an English military and political leader who infamously enacted a series of brutal military actions in Ireland, including massacring civilians.

Minister of State for European Affairs Helen McEntee said Mr D’Arcy’s comments about the Prime Minister were “not reflecting Government policy”.

However, Ms McEntee said Mr D’Arcy’s comments “reflected” a “frustration that many people have here”.

“The fact again we are seeing changes in the UK while throughout all of this we have tried to remain consistent and calm…but this is not Government policy and my understanding is that the tweet was removed,” she added

Minister for Business Heather Humphreys said: "First of all, Minister D'Arcy has removed that tweet.

"As far as we are concerned, we are not going to comment on internal British politics."

Minister for Communications Richard Bruton said: "We are not going to get involved in British politics because they have a lot of decisions to make.

"Undoubtedly, the decisions that they make will have a big impact on us and we need to give them the time and space to do that."

Mr Bruton said Mr Johnson's decision to suspend the House of Commons creates a greater risk of a hard Brexit.

He said: "Very clearly, the issue of resolving this is in Boris Johnson's court and I think we await the developments in British politics.

"I think it's very difficult to see the political hyping of the issues and the clock ticking away and a lot of political positioning rather than working on the details of how resolutions can be found.

"I think that's disheartening and it does make the risks greater. That's undoubtedly the case."

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