Dominic Grieve Tells LBC He Fears Boris Johnson Will Whip Up Fear Of Riots To "Thwart MPs"

28 September 2019, 14:56 | Updated: 28 September 2019, 23:11

The former Attorney General told Matt Frei that the government might turn to the Civil Contingencies Act 2004 which gives ministers the right to suspend the rule of law for up to 30 days.

Dominic Grieve has accused Boris Johnson and the government of ‘talking up’ the possibility of riots to potentially force through a no-deal Brexit in this particular way.

He told Matt Frei: "The only way in which the Act, passed by Parliament and presented by Hilary Benn, could be stopped is if there was serious civil disorder.

"Because the government then has power under the Civil Contingencies act to stop it.

It could be challenged in the courts but it is the one way it could be stopped."

Two weeks ago, Grieve said, it didn't seem like this could be plausible.

Dominic Grieve Defends Argument That Boris Will Whip Up Fear Of Riots To "Thwart MPs"
Dominic Grieve Defends Argument That Boris Will Whip Up Fear Of Riots To "Thwart MPs". Picture: PA

Now, however, the government is using language that is "completely unacceptable for a government in a democratic country" and he is concerned that using 'violent' language is the "subtext intention".

He told Matt Frei:"I'm afraid the only possible conclusion I could reach was that was their intention."

He said that he thought that publicly coming out with this argument would provide the opportunity for the government to categorically deny such a thing but he has not yet heard from them.

Grieve continued: "So when I start hearing ministers talking up the possibility of violence and using that as an argument for why we have to leave 31st October, I start to wonder what on earth they're going on about."

He added: "Yes, there is a problem of violent language and threats on social media but fortunately, iI have to say, we live in a jolly decent country."

Matt Frei pointed out that the government has "every reason to be outraged by that accusation".

Grieve responded: "All they have to do is say that that accusation is wrong and say that they will cease this whipping up, which they have undoubtedly been doing, and stop it."