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What Cabinet ministers previously said about suspending Parliament

During the Tory leadership contest, a series of Cabinet ministers hit out at the prospect of proroguing Parliament.

Chancellor Sajid Javid (Matt Dunham/PA)
Chancellor Sajid Javid (Matt Dunham/PA)

By David Hughes, PA Political Editor

The issue of whether to prorogue Parliament in order to ensure Brexit is not blocked by MPs was hotly contested during the Conservative Party leadership race.

Boris Johnson repeatedly refused to rule it out during the campaign – and has insisted that the shutdown he has now ordered as Prime Minister is unrelated to Brexit – but here is what some of his Cabinet ministers said at the time:

– Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock launching his Tory leadership bid: “There’s this idea from some people that to deliver Brexit we should suspend our parliamentary democracy – that we should prorogue Parliament. But that goes against everything that those men who waded on to those beaches fought and died for (on D-Day) and I will not have it.”

– Matt Hancock again: “A policy on Brexit to prorogue Parliament would mean the end of the Conservative Party as a serious party of government.”

– Work and Pensions Secretary Amber Rudd during the Tory leadership contest: “I think it’s outrageous to consider proroguing Parliament. We are not Stuart kings.”

– Chancellor Sajid Javid in the Channel 4 leadership debate: “You don’t deliver on democracy by trashing democracy. We are not selecting a dictator of our country, we are selecting a prime minister of our country.”

– Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster Michael Gove on the BBC’s The Andrew Marr Show: “I think it will be wrong for many reasons. I think it would not be true to the best traditions of British democracy.”

– Culture Secretary Nicky Morgan on the BBC’s Question Time programme: “Proroguing Parliament is clearly a mad suggestion. You cannot say you are going to take back control … and then go: ‘Oh, by the way, we are just going to shut Parliament down for a couple of months, so we are just going to drift out on a no deal’.”

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