Boris Johnson's move to suspend Parliament enrages politicians

Boris Johnson's move to have the British Parliament suspended has enraged his detractors.

On Wednesday night, the UK Prime Minister successfully requested the Queen consent to the prorogation of Parliament, dissolving it between mid-September and mid-October. 

That limits the time available for his critics to derail the Brexit process in Parliament before the October 31 deadline. It also constrains their ability to stop a no-deal Brexit.

Almost immediately following Johnson's announcement, many critics of the Prime Minister came out against it, with Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon saying Wednesday marked the day "democracy died".

"Shutting down parliament...is not democracy, it's dictatorship," she said.

"This is a UK Government that has shown it has no respect for constitutional norms, it is no longer ridiculous to say that a Prime Minister that is prepared to shut down the House of Commons wouldn't be prepared to do that to the Scottish Parliament," she said.

The Speaker of the House said the move represented a "constitutional outrage". 

"It is blindingly obvious that the purpose of prorogation now would be to stop Parliament debating Brexit and performing its duty in shaping a course for the country," John Bercow said.

"At this time, one of the most challenging periods in our nation's history, it is vital that our elected Parliament has its say. After all, we live in a parliamentary democracy."

The Labour shadow Chancellor went as far as to say a "coup" was underway.

"Make no mistake, this is a very British coup. Whatever one's views on Brexit, once you allow a Prime Minister to prevent the full and free operation of our democratic institutions you are on a very precarious path," said John McDonnell.

Even actor Hugh Grant was fuming.

"You will not f*** with my children's future. You will not destroy the freedoms my grandfather fought two world wars to defend. F*** off you over-promoted rubber bath toy. Britain is revolted by you and you little gang of masturbatory prefects," he tweeted in reference to Johnson.

Protests filled many UK streets early on Thursday morning (NZ Time) and as of 5pm, more than 1.1 million people have signed an official UK Parliament online petition calling for Parliament to not be prorogued. 

"Parliament must not be prorogued or dissolved unless and until the Article 50 period has been sufficiently extended or the UK's intention to withdraw from the EU has been cancelled," the petition says. 

Best for Britain, a group working to stop Brexit, also has a petition asking for the prorogation to be stopped. It has been signed more than 46,000 times.

Boris Johnson's move to suspend Parliament enrages politicians
Photo credit: Getty.

Despite the vocal negativity and threats of a no-confidence vote in his Government before the suspension begins in mid-September, Johnson does have many supporters in his party. 

A snap-poll by YouGov found that 47 percent of respondents said the suspension was not acceptable, 27 percent agreed with it, and 26 percent didn't know. 

However, 52 percent of Conservatives found the decision acceptable.

US President Donald Trump tweeted on Thursday: "Would be very hard for Jeremy Corbyn, the leader of Britain's Labour Party, to seek a no-confidence vote against New Prime Minister Boris Johnson, especially in light of the fact that Boris is exactly what the U.K. has been looking for, & will prove to be "a great one!" Love U.K."

Piers Morgan also appears to be in Johnson's corner.

"Remoaners intent on thwarting the result of the democractic EU referendum are FURIOUS at Prime Minister Johnson moving to prorogue Parliament - because they say it's 'anti-democratic'.  Awww... suck it up democracy-destroyers," he tweeted.

The immense pressure on Johnson to get Britain out of the European Union with or without a deal as he promised throughout his recent Conservative Party leadership campaign was likely a big factor behind the decision.

While ultimately it was up to the Queen, she acts upon the advice of the Prime Minister and doesn't stray into making her own political decisions. 

Prorogation is fairly common, occurring when a Government wants to have time to refresh its legislative agenda.  

Johnson says the current period of Parliament is the longest in nearly 400 years and he wants his new Government to make its own mark. 

Pro-Brexiteer Jacob Rees-Mogg, who was in the meeting with Queen when she made her decision, said it was a "completely normal procedure".

But it's rare for the process to occur during one of the most pivotal periods of British history, as a debate over the future of the country hits fever pitch.

Newshub.

Contact Newshub with your story tips:
news@newshub.co.nz