The Tories' hypocrisy over the prorogation of parliament exposed

PUBLISHED: 15:05 29 August 2019 | UPDATED: 15:29 29 August 2019

Amber Rudd, Sajid Javid, Matt Hancock and Michael Gove. Photograph: PA/TNE.

Amber Rudd, Sajid Javid, Matt Hancock and Michael Gove. Photograph: PA/TNE.

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The Conservatives who once claimed that Boris Johnson had no plans to prorogue parliament - and would be against such a measure - have gone surprisingly quiet since the prime minister announced the plans.

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Boris Johnson once told Tory MPs during the leadership contest: "I am not attracted to arcane procedures such as the prorogation of parliament.

"As someone who aspires to be the prime minister of democratic nation, I believe in finding consensus in the House of Commons."

Former Tory minister Nicky Morgan said: "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.'"

Government minister Michael Gove said: "I think it will be wrong for many reasons. I think it would not be true to the best traditions of British democracy."

His comments were broadcasted back to his constituents in a video stunt pulled by the Led By Donkeys campaign.

Meanwhile health secretary Matt Hancock warned it "goes against everything those men who waded onto those beaches fought & died for - and I will not have it".

He wrote that "England is the mother of all parliaments - respected as such around the free world. To suspend parliament explicitly to pursue a course of action against its wishes is not a serious policy of a prime minister in the 21st Century," the letter said.

Work and pensions minister Amber Rudd said in June described the idea as "absolutely outrageous".

"The idea of leaving the EU to take back more control into parliament and to consider the idea of closing parliament to do that is the most extraordinary idea I've ever heard," she said. "It is a ridiculous suggestion to consider proroguing parliament. For a start it would involve approaching the Queen and nobody should consider doing that," she said.

Rudd refused to resign and avoided most questions on the matter when she was doorsteped by reporters.

Chancellor Sajid Javid said during the leadership campaign: "You don't deliver on democracy by trashing democracy ... we are not selecting a dictator of our country".

Liz Truss, the minister for international trade, said Boris Johnson had already ruled out the "archaic manoeuvre". She told the BBC that "he wants to bring parliament with him," she said.

Brexiteer Andrea Leadsom told reporters that she did not believe Boris Johnson would prorogue parliament. Answering questions, she said: "No I don't believe I would and I don't believe it would happen."

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