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Defence Secretary Ben Wallace slapped down by Number 10 over prorogation gaffe

2 min read

Downing Street has slapped down Ben Wallace after he suggested Boris Johnson had suspended Parliament because the Government has no majority.

Number 10 insisted the Defence Secretary “misspoke” when he was caught on camera speaking to a foreign colleague.

And in a further putdown, they insisted Mr Wallace had not taken part in any of the discussions leading up to the controversial move.

Mr Wallace was attending a meeting of EU defence ministers when he was asked about the Prime Minister’s decision to prorogue Parliament for five weeks from next week.

Mr Johnson has insisted the move is needed so the Government can set out its legislative plans in a Queen’s Speech on 14 October.

But Mr Wallace said: “Our system is a winner takes all system. If you win a parliamentary majority, you control everything. You control the timetable. There’s no written separation.

“And we’ve suddenly found ourselves with no majority and a coalition, and that’s not easy for our system.”

The minister - a close ally of Mr Johnson who was promoted to the Cabinet when he became PM - also admitted he did not “know what the outcome” of the controversial move would be.

Responding to the remarks, a Number 10 source said: “The Defence Secretary misspoke and was not involved in discussions about the Queen’s speech. 

“The Queen’s speech will allow us to set out an ambitious legislative programme to deliver on our domestic priorities such as tackling violent crime, investing in our health service and tackling the cost of living.

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