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Sat, 30 May 2020

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Number 10 insists Boris Johnson will not quit if Queen's Speech is voted down

Number 10 insists Boris Johnson will not quit if Queen's Speech is voted down
2 min read

Boris Johnson will not resign as Prime Minister even if MPs reject his Queen's Speech.

Number 10 insisted that under the Fixed Term Parliaments Act, losing a vote on the Government's legislative agenda is no longer a confidence matter.

And they said the PM will also plough on with introducing all of the Bills contained in the programme unveiled by the Queen on Monday morning, even if MPs vote it down next week.

Asked if Mr Johnson would stand down if the speech is defeated in Parliament, the Prime Minister's official spokesman said: "No."

There were 22 bills listed in the Queen’s Speech itself, with a further six mentioned in the accompanying documents.

They include measures aimed at lengthening sentences for violent and sexual offenders, pumping more money into the NHS and cracking down on voter fraud.

The PM's spokesman said: "If MPs do choose to vote against the Queen's Speech, it will be (for) them to explain to the public why they are voting against greater support for our public services, including police, schools and hospitals.

"Why they are blocking legislation which will lead to serious and dangerous offenders spending more time in prison, why they are stopping laws which will lead to longer jail sentences for foreign national offenders and why they are standing in the way of significant infrastructure improvements that will level up across this country."

On whether losing a vote on the Queen's Speech would be a matter of confidence, he added: "No, the terms of a vote of confidence are set down by the Fixed-Term Parliaments Act."

The spokesman also insisted that the Government would continue to progress the new bills even if the speech is rejected by MPs.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn had earlier mocked Mr Johnson's lack of a Commons majority, claiming the Queen's Speech was a waste of time.

He said: "There has never been such a farce as a government with a majority of minus 45 and a 100% record of defeat in the Commons setting out a legislative agenda they know cannot be delivered in this Parliament."

But the PM hit back: "At the heart of this speech is an ambitious programme to unite our country with energy and optimism but also with the basic common sense of one nation Conservatism."

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