Boris Johnson will not resign if Queen's Speech is defeated

14 October 2019, 20:14

Boris Johnson will not step down as PM if Queen's Speech is defeated
Boris Johnson will not step down as PM if Queen's Speech is defeated. Picture: PA
Nick Hardinges

By Nick Hardinges

Downing Street said Prime Minister Boris Johnson will not step aside if the legislative agenda set out in the Queen's Speech is voted down by MPs in the next week.

No 10 suggested the UK leader would push through his government programme even if Parliament rejects it after roughly a week of deliberation.

The prime minister's official spokesman rejected the idea that a defeat on the Queen's Speech would show no confidence in the government and thus could pave the way for an early general election.

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

The spokesman remained defiant that Mr Johnson could pass legislation through Parliament even in the event of defeat.

Jeremy Corbyn labeled Boris Johnson&squot;s planned legislative agenda a "farce"
Jeremy Corbyn labeled Boris Johnson's planned legislative agenda a "farce". Picture: PA

During Monday's ceremony the Tory leader laid out his government plans through the Queen's Speech with a particular focus on delivering Brexit by 31 October.

Despite being accused of electioneering by opposition leaders Boris Johnson used the speech, described as a "farce" by Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, to introduce a raft of anti-crime, immigration and environmental Bills.

Without a majority in Parliament, following the expulsion of 21 Tory rebels, there is a possibility that the plans will be rejected by MPs.

When the vote in the House of Commons takes place will depend on how swiftly the debate passes and whether a rare Saturday sitting of Parliament is held at the weekend.

With the PM pushing for a snap general election, the legislative programme presented was seen by opponents as a bid by Mr Johnson to set out his campaign agenda.

Chancellor Sajid Javid will announce the budget on 6 November
Chancellor Sajid Javid will announce the budget on 6 November. Picture: PA

Mr Corbyn said: "There has never been such a farce as a Government with a majority of -45 and a 100 per cent record of defeat in the House of Commons setting out a legislative agenda they know cannot be delivered in this Parliament."

"Honourable members heckle about a general election. I said to the prime minister last month 'get the [Brexit] extension, take us away from the dangers of No Deal, and then we are in a position to do that'.

"We may only be just weeks away from the first Queen's Speech of a Labour government.

"The prime minister promised that this Queen's speech would dazzle us. On closer inspection it is nothing more than fool's gold."

Chancellor Sajid Javid also announced a budget for 6 November, adding to the pre-election atmosphere.