MPs protested Boris Johnson’s act to prorogue parliament last night by brandishing signs and stopping speaker John Bercow from leaving his chair.
The Prime Minister last night suspended parliament for five weeks until 14 October, just two weeks beyond the UK’s scheduled departure date of 31 October.
Parliamentarians shouted “No!” and held up placards reading “Silenced” in the early hours of this morning as the suspension took place.
One MP actually attempted to block Bercow from leaving his seat to lead the prorogation ceremony in the House of Lords as politicians engaged in a scuffle near the speaker’s chair.
Bercow won applause as he spoke out against the suspension, despite the speaker’s neutral role.
“This is not a standard or normal prorogation,” he said.
“It’s one of the longest for decades and it represents an act of executive fiat.”
Meanwhile Labour MPs booed sitting government ministers, chanting “shame on you” at Prime Minister Johnson’s cabinet.
Johnson has insisted the suspension is in order to push his domestic agenda and not to cut debate time ahead of the Brexit deadline.
But critics have said MPs will have less time to scrutinise his Brexit plans.
It means MPs have only sat for four days after a six-week summer break.
However, a bill forcing Johnson to request a three-month delay to Brexit if no deal is in place gained royal assent yesterday.
The bill, put forward by Labour’s Hilary Benn and Tory Alastair Burt, is designed to avoid a no-deal Brexit by delaying the UK’s departure until 31 January.
Yesterday Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn railed against parliament’s suspension, calling it “disgraceful” and accusing Johnson of seeking to avoid questioning.
Johnson’s government has maintained that suspending parliament is usual practice ahead of a Queen’s Speech.
That will take place on 14 October when parliament returns.
Separately anti-Brexiter and Sir John Major are appealing against a legal case they lost against the suspension.
Main image credit: Getty