Dominic Raab has been knocked out following the second round of voting in the Conservative Party leadership contest. Boris Johnson secured the most votes, but Jeremy Hunt, Michael Gove, Rory Stewart and Sajid Javid have all made it through to the next round.
Dominic Raab, one of the candidates for the Conservative leadership, has said that he would shut down Parliament if it opposed his Brexit plans. The move was fiercely criticised by John Bercow, the current Speaker of the House of Commons, and Betty Boothroyd, the former Speaker of the House of Commons, as well as other senior Conservatives.
John Bercow, the current Speaker, rejected any move to prevent the House of Commons from stating its will on any Brexit deal saying:
“Parliament will not be evacuated from the centre stage of the decision-making process.”
“I have a message for this ambitious young man: you don’t treat our Parliament, our democracy or our people that way. If you even try to impose your No Deal Brexit on us by cancelling Parliamentary proceedings, you won’t survive as Prime Minister for five minutes, you will be booted out of office and you are not worthy of your seat in Parliament which should be reserved for those who deserve the title of democrats.”
Other candidates criticised Raab’s plan, with Matt Hancock saying that it would “undermine parliamentary democracy and risk a general election” and Rory Stewart posted on Twitter:
“We live in a parliamentary democracy. You can try to lock the gates of parliament. But to do so for this purpose would be unlawful. This plan is unlawful, undemocratic, and unachievable. And the idea itself is profoundly offensive to our liberty constitution and traditions.”
Raab’s threat was also criticised by Amber Rudd, the Work and Pensions Secretary, who said that “I think it’s outrageous to consider proroguing Parliament. We are not Stuart kings.”
Mel Stride, the Leader of the House of Commons, also rejected Raab’s suggestion, saying that “I do think Her Majesty should be kept out of the politics of our Parliament.”
Three more candidates have joined the contest to become the next leader of the Conservative Party, bringing the current number of candidates to eight.
Michael Gove, the Secretary of State for the Environment, Andrea Leadsom, the former Leader of the House of Commons, and Dominic Raab, the former Brexit Secretary, have declared their candidacies over the last day. The five already announced candidates were:
Rory Stewart – the Secretary of State for International Development
Jeremy Hunt – the Foreign Secretary
Matt Hancock – the Secretary of State for Health
Boris Johnson – the former Foreign Secretary
Esther McVey – the former Secretary of State for Work and Pensions
Vote Leave have named 50 criminals who they claim the EU has prevented from deporting.
Dominic Raab, the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State at the Department of Justice, said:
“This is yet more evidence of how EU membership makes us less safe. Free movement of people allows unelected judges in the rogue European court to decide who we can and can’t deport. This puts British families at risk. It squanders UK taxpayers’ money on keeping them in prison – and that’s on top of the £50m we send to the EU every day”.
James Brokenshire, the the Minister for Immigration at the Home Office, said:
“The UK sought greater control over the deportation of foreign criminals in its EU renegotiation – and that’s precisely what the prime minister’s deal delivered.”
“The bigger picture is that our access to the European Arrest Warrant has allowed us to deport 6,500 European criminals since 2010. That’s 130 times the number of criminals Vote Leave have identified”.