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Tue, 29 September 2020

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Boris Johnson should 'apologise to the Queen' over unlawful prorogation, says Jeremy Corbyn

Boris Johnson should 'apologise to the Queen' over unlawful prorogation, says Jeremy Corbyn
3 min read

Jeremy Corbyn said Boris Johnson should say sorry to the Queen and “apologise to the British people” for unlawfully suspending Parliament.

The Labour leader said the Prime Minister had “abused the power he has in the royal prerogative” when he advised the Monarch to approve his prorogation plans.

And he said now that decision was overturned by the Supreme Court and MPs are returning to Parliament, he would not allow the Commons to go into recess again for the Tory conference.

Speaking on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, he called Mr Johnson’s decision to shutter the Palace of Westminster for five weeks an ”affront to democracy”.

“He clearly has abused the power he has in the royal prerogative and attempted to close down Parliament,” he said

“Thanks to the Supreme Court, we now have Parliament meeting again today and we will once again be able to question the Government in what it is actually doing in taking us out of the EU without a deal, with all the damage that will do to people’s jobs and livelihoods.”

The PM was confirmed to have spoken to the Queen after the court’s unanimous verdict on Tuesday, but no details of their conversation have been realised.

On whether he should have used that call to say sorry, Mr Corbyn replied: “I think he should apologise to her for the advice he gave her.

“But more importantly, apologise to the British people for what he’s done in trying to shut down our democracy at a very crucial time when people are very, very worried about what will happen on October 31.”

He is back in London earlier than planned after he moved his speech to Labour’s party conference in Brighton forward a day so he could be in place for Parliament’s return.

But on whether he would approve it to go into recess again next week while the Tory conference in Manchester takes place, he appeared to say he would order his party’s MPs to vote against that.

Mr Corbyn said: "I don't see why Boris Johnson and his team should be able to run away from accountability yet again.”

On speculation he would use Parliament’s return to table a motion of no confidence, he said he would wait until a no-deal exit Brexit is off the table.

The legislation passed earlier this month forces the PM to ask for an extension to Article 50 as late as October 19, meaning it could be more than three weeks until a vote on holding an election takes place.

He said: "Until it is very clear that the application will be made, per the legislation, to the EU to extend our membership to at least January, then we will continue pushing for that and that is our priority.

"When that has been achieved we will then be ready with a motion of no confidence."


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