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In Conversation With Steve Allen 9pm - 10pm
29 August 2019, 09:02
The Leader of the House of Commons Jacob Rees-Mogg has told LBC the Government is not running scared of parliament by suspending it.
Critics say prorogation will reduce the time that MPs have to scrutinise Brexit and attempt to block a no-deal outcome and more than 1.2 million people have signed an online petition against the move.
But speaking to Tom Swarbrick, Mr Rees-Mogg insists the act is "constitutionally routine".
He said: "This session is already extremely long and I think many people feel that we need to get on with the domestic agenda.
"He [Boris Johnson] had one day before parliament went into recess. This has been a decision made over the summer and made at the earliest opportunity so that people know and so that the September sitting can be used as a wash-up in the usual way.
"This is all completely constitutionally routine."
Tom then asked how happy the cabinet are with the plan, playing a series of senior cabinet members rejecting the idea of prorogation. They were:
Michael Gove: "I think it would be a terrible thing if, having said we should have more power in this country and trust our institutions more, we shut the doors on parliament."
Matt Hancock: "There's this idea from some people that to deliver Brexit, we should suspend our parliamentary democracy, that we should prorogue parliament. But that goes against everything that those men who waded on to those beaches fought and died for."
Andrea Leadsom: "It was felt it would not be something workable to prorogue parliament. It's certainly not something I would seek to do."
Amber Rudd: "It is a ridiculous suggestion to consider proroguing parliament."
Sajid Javid: "You don't deliver on democracy by trashing democracy. We're not selecting a dictator of our country."
But Mr Rees-Mogg insisted they were speaking about a different idea, responding: "I would have said exactly the same as that. The idea that you would prorogue parliament for several months was bonkers."
But Tom pointed out that none of them mentioned several months. But Mr Rees-Mogg insisted: "A new session is routine. People were talking about suspending parliament for an extended period beyond 31st October.
"That is not what is happening."