Ken Clarke slams ‘blatant lies’ about reasons behind proroguing parliament
- Credit: PA Wire/PA Images
Ken Clarke has condemned the 'blatant lies' being told by MPs about the reasons for proroguing parliament, after Jacob Rees-Mogg dismissed public objection to the move as a 'candyfloss of outrage'.
The hard Brexiteer MP had told BBC Radio 4's Today programme that the reasons for proroguing parliament were merely procedural and had nothing to do with an attempt to frustrate MPs' involvement with Brexit decision-making.
But Clarke hit back, saying: "We are being told blatant lies.
"How on earth they can keep a straight face saying it isn't designed to frustrate Brexit I don't know. And the argument for it - underlying it - is rather silly."
Summarising the Brexiteers' argument for prorogation as "'oh well,it's only a convention so it doesn't count'," Clarke pointed out that this would dismiss most constitutional convention. "It's pretty unconstitutional," he said.
You may also want to watch:
Responding to Rees-Mogg's claim that there was still plenty of time for Brexit parliamentary business, Clarke
walked through the necessary steps for effective action and said there were just "days" in which to do this.
- 1 Nigel Farage loses nearly 50,000 followers after Twitter suspends QAnon accounts
- 2 Michel Barnier tells UK to be 'very careful' in Brexit diplomatic status row
- 3 Fifteen ways to fix Britain
- 4 This chumocracy is costing our country
- 5 Holyrood in talks with EU to extend Erasmus scheme to Scottish students
- 6 Susanna Reid takes on Priti Patel over government's gaslighting of public on coronavirus
- 7 Independent SAGE adviser gives scathing assessment of Priti Patel's £800 Covid fines
- 8 An actor whose politics were a touchy subject
- 9 Brexiteer says he'd never have voted for Brexit 'if we knew we'd lose our jobs'
- 10 Bob Geldof takes swipe at No 10 saying 'lying is second nature' to them
He described the prorogation as absurd and said Boris Johnson had given in to fanatics.
He said: "He has just given in to the fanatic element of his followers and decided to go hell for leather.
"I hope it will bring together the sensible majority of parliament who will find some alternative."
When asked if he would serve in a caretaker government under Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, he added: "I would do anything necessary to stop this country going through the childishly disastrous mistake of crashing out with no deal."
He described talk of caretaker governments as "footnotes", adding: "The key thing is to decide are we leaving in a sensible way that doesn't do damage to our economy, or are we actually going to have a referendum and decide whether to leave at all."
Clarke said the only way to heal the political divisions in the short term would be to have a soft Brexit. "But you might put that deal to a referendum," he added.
Regardless, he described Johnson as "outrageous".
"I think Boris is absolutely outrageous," he said. "[That] sort of petty dictator stuff will bring together the slightly divided majority in the House of Commons."
Become a Supporter
The New European is proud of its journalism and we hope you are proud of it too. We believe our voice is important - both in representing the pro-EU perspective and also to help rebalance the right wing extremes of much of the UK national press. If you value what we are doing, you can help us by making a contribution to the cost of our journalism.