Campaigners call for resistance against a PM ‘who couldn’t even lie straight in bed’

Abby Tomlinson at a People's Vote rally in Newcastle. Photograph: People's Vote.

Abby Tomlinson at a People's Vote rally in Newcastle. Photograph: People's Vote. - Credit: Archant

Hundreds of people across the North East hsvse turned out to a People's Vote rally that has called for resistance to the suspension of parliament.

The rally, held in the Assembly Rooms in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, heard the demand from political, business and community leaders on a weekend when an estimated 100,000 people joined protests against Boris Johnson's decision to suspend parliament in an attempt to force a No Deal Brexit on the country.

For our Future's Sake campaigner Abby Tomlinson opened the event by pointing out that People's Vote supporters are the people who "are the ones demanding democracy" while local MP Anna Turley told the rally that prime minister Boris Johnson was "a man who couldn't even lie straight in bed".

She continued: "No matter how anyone in the North East voted three and a half years ago, no one voted for this.

"No one voted to shut down your parliament - your representation. No one voted for a reckless gamble with jobs and livelihoods here in the North East.

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"No one voted for the destruction of manufacturing on a scale that would make Thatcher blush. No one voted to devastate the NHS by disrupting the flow of life-saving medicines including for cancer diagnosis and therapy

"No one voted to put 25% tariffs on the exports of companies on the banks of the Tees and put them out of business and people on the dole.

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"No one voted for this."

Andrew Bulman, a local Young Conservative, told the rally: "I've long hoped for the country to come together in the spirit of compromise, because our future cannot be built on hatred and division.

"Let me now tell my party: you don't respect a result by forcing through an outcome which doesn't fulfil the promises that were made.

"I used to be dead against another referendum, but it's clear things have changed, because democracy is a process, not a fixed moment in time.

"In 2016, Boris Johnson said Brexit was about taking back control, about restoring parliamentary sovereignty. Now he wants to shut down parliament at this most critical juncture so he can avoid accountability for his actions.

"So he can impose his own will on the British people, impose a version of Brexit that no one has had a say over. That would be a democratic outrage."

Leader of the Independent Group for Change, Anna Soubry MP, told the audience that it had never been more important to demand a People's Vote, while Lord Andrew Adonis said that the role of the executive was to execute the will of parliament, something that Boris Johnson seemed to wish to reverse.

Phil Wilson MP told the rally "we are going to win" and said that the case for a People's Vote was stronger than ever. He again issued an offer to PM Johnson - to vote for a Brexit deal in parliament on the condition it was put back to the public for the final say in a People's Vote.

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