Boris Johnson’s Parliament Suspension Prompts Growing Backlash – The New York Times

[Boris Johnson’s suspension of Parliament drew intense reactions on social media.]

The Speaker of the House of Commons, John Bercow, and a senior Conservative lawmaker, Philip Hammond, each called it a “constitutional outrage;” Jeremy Corbyn, leader of the Labour Party, labeled it a “a sort of smash and grab on our democracy.”

But Jacob Rees-Mogg, a hard-line Brexit supporter and the Conservative leader of the House of Commons, on Thursday defended the government’s decision, arguing that there would still be adequate time to debate Brexit. The real threat to Britain’s unwritten constitution, he wrote in The Daily Telegraph, came from those who opposed Brexit and who want to overturn the 2016 referendum decision to leave the bloc.

“The candyfloss of outrage that we’ve had over the past 24 hours — which is almost entirely confected — is from people who never wanted to leave the European Union,” Mr. Rees-Mogg said in an interview with BBC radio.

The suspension procedure was normal, he argued, because Mr. Johnson wanted to start a new session of Parliament.

While that is technically correct, the timing of the decision, the length of the suspension and its practical impact make the move look like a politically motivated tactic to stifle opposition in Parliament — an institution that Brexit was supposed to strengthen.

Mr. Johnson’s stance also suggests that he is preparing for a general election campaign, in which he could present himself as the champion of the people against a Parliament intent on thwarting the 2016 Brexit referendum.


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