MPs table motion to demand every piece of communication made about prorogation plans

PUBLISHED: 14:53 09 September 2019 | UPDATED: 19:38 09 September 2019

Prime Minister Boris Johnson during Prime Minister's Questions. Photograph: House of Commons/PA Wire.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson during Prime Minister's Questions. Photograph: House of Commons/PA Wire.

Dominic Grieve has tabled an emergency motion that could require every piece of communication made between ministers and advisers over Boris Johnson's plans to prorogue parliament.

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It is being tabled by former Tory MP Dominic Grieve, using a device known as a humble address, which follows the same mechanisms as when the opposition tried to get the government to publish Geoffrey Cox's legal advice under Theresa May.

If the motion secures the support of the House of Commons, the government will have to publish all written and electronic communications before Thursday 12th September.

It includes "messaging services including WhatsApp, Telegram, Signal, Facebook messenger, private email accounts both encrypted and unencrypted, text messaging and iMessage and the use of both official and unofficial mobile phones."

The documents on prorogation are asked from advisers and officials including Hugh Bennett, Simon Burton, Dominic Cumming, Nikki da Costa, Tom Irven, Sir Roy Stone, Christopher James, Lee Cain and Beatrice Thompson.

Grieve is also looking to force the government to publish 'Operation Yellowhammer' no-deal Brexit planning documents.

Snippets of information from the documents continue to leak, with Private Eye reporting that the reports suggest local government officials could be reallocated to Whitehall departments to deal with a no-deal Brexit.

According to the report, the army - including territorial volunteers - would be told to run town and county halls in the absence of officials.

It reports: "One officer, who admitted he was uncomfortable at the optics of all this, observed to the Eye that this involved putting soldiers in charge even when they lacked basic literacy and numeracy."

Last week the Financial Times reported the government had u-turned on a decision to publish a "watered down" version of the documentation after ministers decided that the findings would still alarm the public.

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