Irony alert as Jacob Rees-Mogg tells MPs they are ‘subverting parliament’s role’ for scrutiny
PUBLISHED: 19:54 03 September 2019 | UPDATED: 21:58 03 September 2019
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Without a hint of irony Jacob Rees-Mogg has been mocked for claiming a bill that would allow rebel MPs to seize control of the order paper ‘constitutionally irregular’.
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An angered leader of the House of Commons told MPs they "risk subverting parliament's proper role in scrutinising the executive", while telling Oliver Letwin, who tabled the bill, that he was guilty of "stunning arrogance".
He said: "I wish to be clear what is proposed today is constitutionally irregular".
"This is irregular both in terms of the approach to allowing SO24 [Standing Order 24] on substantive motions, and in terms of the subversion of parliament's proper role in scruntising the executive."
He described those supporting the emergency motion as an "illuminati who are taking the powers to themselves".
He added: "It is not, however, for parliament to undertake the role and functions of the executive.
"Constitutional convention is that executive power is exercised by Her Majesty's government which has the democratic mandate to govern.
"That mandate is derived from the British people and represented through this House.
"When we look at this constitution we are protected by our rules and our orders and by our conventions."
"It is those rules, those laws, those conventions that protect us from the winds of tyranny."
He also appeared to raise questions about speaker John Bercow's decision to allow the votable motion, something Conservative MP Peter Bone also pressed further.
Bone added: "If this motion is carried tonight, which appears to be a substantive motion, it seems to me the government would have every right to declare it ultra vires and ignore it."
Bercow intervened at this point, telling MPs there have been previous occasions where emergency debates have contained "evaluative motions" before adding: "I have taken advice of a professional kind and I'm entirely satisfied that the judgment I have made is consistent with that advice.
"My attitude is simply to seek to facilitate the house."
Bercow went on: "I have sought to exercise my judgment in discharging my responsibility to facilitate the House of Commons, to facilitate the legislature. I have done it, I am doing it and I will do it to the best of my ability without fear or favour - to coin a phrase, come what may, do or die."
The move comes days after Jacob Rees-Mogg visited the Queen to request the parliament is suspended for a Queen's speech, preventing parliamentary debating time ahead of the Brexit deadline.
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