Sat, 15 June 2024

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EXCL Dominic Raab branded a 'dictator' by Tory rival over Parliament shut-down row

3 min read

Dominic Raab has been branded a "dictator" as his rivals for the Tory leadership condemned his refusal to rule out shutting down Parliament in order to deliver a no-deal Brexit.

The former Cabinet minister insisted the next Prime Minister should be willing to "prorogue" - ending the Parliamentary session and sending MPs home - if it is the only way of guaranteeing the UK leaves the European Union by 31 October.

A source close to Mr Raab told PoliticsHome: “His point is that if Parliament won’t rule out what options they will use then why would the executive rule out options?"

But other contenders for the Tory crown made clear that they would not consider the extraordinary move.

A source close to Sajid Javid said: "He firmly believes his honest and credible deal on Brexit can command support of the Commons and the EU. But he wants to be PM - not a dictator."

Health Secretary Matt Hancock wrote to Tory MPs making clear his opposition to the idea.

He said: "Proroguing Parliament undermines parliamentary democracy and risks a general election. I rule it out and call on all candidates to do the same."

Rory Stewart posted a video on Twitter branding the Raab plan as "unlawful, undemocratic, and unachievable".

Former minister Sam Gyimah said: "No question. I’ll rule out prorogation."

Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt told MPs at a leadership hustings on Wednesday night that he would not consider proroguing either.

Speaking afterwards, Work and Pensions Secretary Amber Rudd said the idea was "outrageous", adding: "We are not Stuart kings"

Meanwhile, Commons Speaker John Bercow said he would block any attempts to shut down Parliament.

“Parliament will not be evacuated from the centre stage of the decision-making process on this important matter," he said.

“That’s simply not gonna happen. It seems so blindingly obvious that it almost doesn’t need to be stated.”

Former Speaker and supporter of the People's Vote campaign, Baroness Betty Boothroyd, said of Mr Raab's claim: "I have a message for this ambitious young man: you don’t treat our Parliament, our democracy or our people that way.

"If you even try to impose your No Deal Brexit on us by cancelling Parliamentary proceedings, you won’t survive as Prime Minister for five minutes, you will be booted out of office and you are not worthy of your seat in Parliament which should be reserved for those who deserve the title of democrats.”

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