Brexit: Queen approves Boris Johnson plan to suspend Parliament

The Queen has formally approved a plan by Boris Johnson's Government to suspend Parliament, leading to accusations that the Conservatives are seeking to force through a no-deal Brexit.

Jacob Rees-Mogg met the Queen in Aberdeenshire.
Jacob Rees-Mogg met the Queen in Aberdeenshire.

Her Majesty formally approved an order to suspend parliament on Wednesday afternoon to prorogue Parliament no earlier than September 9 and no later than September 12, until October 14.

Several opposition leaders have written to the monarch in protest, while Commons Speaker John Bercow said the move was a "constitutional outrage" designed to stop Parliament debating Brexit.

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Mr Johnson spoke to the Queen on Wednesday morning to request an end to the current parliamentary session - a process known as prorogation.

Leader of the House Jacob Rees-Mogg travelled to Balmoral to convene a brief Privy Council meeting, echoing the Prime Minister's line after his meeting that the suspension was a normal parliamentary procedure.

Jeremy Corbyn accused Mr Johnson of a "smash-and-grab on our democracy in order to force through a no-deal exit from the European Union".

He said: "When Parliament does meet - on his timetable very briefly next week - the first thing we will do is to try and legislate and to prevent what he is doing.

"And secondly to challenge him in a motion of confidence at some point."

The Prime Minister said it was "completely untrue" to suggest that Brexit was the reason for his decision, insisting that he needed a Queen's Speech to set out a "very exciting agenda" of domestic policy.

Mr Johnson also denied the move was to pave the way for an early general election.

But he said it would allow him to bring forward legislation for a new Withdrawal Agreement if a deal can be done with Brussels around the time of the European Council summit on October 17.

In a statement, he said: "There will be ample time on both sides of that crucial October 17 summit, ample time in Parliament for MPs to debate the EU, to debate Brexit, and all the other issues."

Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said: "Unless MPs come together to stop him next week, today will go down in history as a dark one indeed for UK democracy."