Queen could block Boris Johnson calling General Election, expert tells LBC

8 June 2022, 07:53

An expert in British government and constitution tells LBC that the Queen could deny the PM permission to dissolve Parliament and call an election
An expert in British government and constitution tells LBC that the Queen could deny the PM permission to dissolve Parliament and call an election. Picture: Alamy

By Seán Hickey

The Queen may refuse to grant the dissolution of Parliament so Boris Johnson can fight a General Election rather than facing another confidence vote, an expert in the British constitution and government tells LBC.

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Uncertainty grows around Westminster following the Prime Minister's confidence vote on Monday, where 41% of his party voted against him.

Professor Vernon Bogdanor, Professor of Government at King's College London joined Tom Swarbrick to forecast how the Conservative Party will bounce back.

Read more: Boris hints at tax cuts to woo Tory rebels and pleads move on from confidence vote

The constitutional expert argued that Tory MPs will try get the rules of the 1922 Committee changed to get another confidence vote before 12 months have passed in a bid to oust the Prime Minister before a general election.

He explained that "the rules are there to ensure Conservative MPs choose their leader and he doesn't remain when he's lost support", and given nearly three quarters of Conservative backbenchers have voted no confidence, pressure will mount on Sir Graham Brady to tweak the rules.

Tom wondered, if this is the best route forward for Tory rebels, whether they've "run out of road", arguing that if Sir Graham Brady told the Prime Minister he lost support, he would call a general election.

Read more: 'Almost anybody' would be better PM than 'shoddy' Boris Johnson, Rory Stewart tells LBC

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Read more: Tory rebel would be 'very surprised' if Boris Johnson is still PM come autumn

"It's not clear he could call a general election if his party or his cabinet don't wish for him to do so" Professor Bogdanor claimed.

"The Queen might well ask whether the Conservative Party as a whole wants a general election.

"If he called a general election solely to avoid being overthrown, it wouldn't 100% certain that he'd be granted a dissolution of parliament"

The expert went on to explain that if a dissolution was requested, The Queen could take her time to decide, and while she was waiting, "backbenchers would make their opinion known – obviously in this hypothetical situation – and vote to remove Boris Johnson, and then he would be replaced by someone with a different view."

Tom was surprised by the professor's claim, to which Professor Bogdanor used the example of a case in Canada"where a prime minister tried to to secure dissolution to avoid a vote of confidence against him and that was refused", making the point that there is precedent for The Queen to take such drastic action.

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