Gavin Williamson Insists Cabinet Knew About Prorogation Before Its Announcement

10 September 2019, 19:20

Gavin Williamson has insisted that cabinet "full heartedly" supported Boris Johnson's decision to prorogue Parliament, despite his cabinet colleagues claiming they were kept in the dark.

The Secretary of State's claim is in direct contradiction to former Work and Pensions Secretary Amber Rudd, who said cabinet was "told on the morning, rather than being a proper discussion".

But while speaking on LBC with Tom Swarbrick, Mr Williamson said the decision was made after a cabinet-wide discussion.

He said: "We all got the opportunity to speak with the prime minister when we had a cabinet meeting to discuss the idea of proroguing parliament.

"On the conference call that I had there was a wide discussion of cabinet members and it was something we did support and we full heartedly supported the prime minister."

Mr Williamson added the announcement was made in the aftermath of their discussion.

Ms Rudd resigned earlier this week claiming the government was having "no formal negotiations" with the EU for a Brexit deal.

She also said Mr Johnson's decision to expel 21 Tory rebels from the party demonstrated the Conservative Party "doesn't embrace tolerant people."

Northern Ireland Secretary Julian Smith has also said he was not consulted on the prorogation before it was announced.

He said the decision to suspend Parliament was "not something that I, nor my department, was involved in".

Mr Smith also claimed that cabinet was informed shortly before the decision was made public.