Constitutional Crisis for Monarch as Prime Minister Asks for Parliament to be Suspended

Boris Johnson, the Prime Minister, has called HM Queen Elizabeth II to suspend Parliament causing a constitutional crisis for the Monarch. John Bercow, the Speaker of the House of Commons, has said that the request from the Prime Minister is a “constitutional outrage”. The Prime Minister said that the decision still allowed time to discuss Brexit, but that it would allow the Government to pursue a new domestic agenda in Parliament.

The Monarch has yet to issue a statement on what her decision will be, but Jeremy Corbyn, the Leader of the Opposition, has called the request as “reckless” Philip Hammond, the former Chancellor of the Exchequer, called the decision “profoundly undemocratic”. Jo Swinson, the Leader of the Liberal Democrats, has also confirmed that she is writing to the Queen to complain about the request.

John McDonnell, the Shadow Chancellor, said on Twitter:

“Make no mistake, this is a very British coup. Whatever one’s views on Brexit, once you allow a Prime Minister to prevent the full and free operation of our democratic institutions you are on a very precarious path.”

Nicola Sturgeon, the First Minister of Scotland, said that the move was “dictatorship”.

Mark Drakeford, the First Minister of Wales, said on Twitter:

“Boris Johnson fought a referendum campaign to put power back in the hands of Parliament and now he wants the Queen to close the doors on our democracy. The Leave campaign claims are unravelling. It’s time to put this to the people.”

Republic, the campaign to end the Monarchy, said in a statement:

“Already people are petitioning the Queen to intervene, but she won’t. Not because she can’t, but because the Queen’s first priority is always the preservation of the monarchy. But Johnson’s decision to prorogue parliament has created a unique crisis for the Queen. The convention is that the Queen does as she’s told by the PM. But in normal times the PM has the full support of a majority in the Commons.”

Simon Clarke, the Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury, said on Twitter:

“In 400 years we haven’t had a session of Parliament that’s lasted as long as this. We need a Queen’s Speech to set out a bold agenda for after we leave the EU – on policing, infrastructure and the NHS. And there will still be time for a Withdrawal Agreement if terms are agreed.”

Welsh Government Confirms M4 Relief Road Plan is Cancelled

Mark Drakeford, the Welsh First Minister, has confirmed that plans to build a relief road for the M4 have been cancelled. The plan would have helped to have alleviated congestion around Newport, but there were concerns about the impact to the environment.

In a statement Drakeford said:

“In my judgement the Project’s adverse impacts on the environment, taken
together with its other disadvantages, outweigh its advantages”.

He added:

“I do not consider that there is a compelling case in the public interest to expropriate the land that is subject to the CPOs and I do not consider that it would be appropriate or expedient to make the other Schemes and Orders.”

Ian Rappel, the Chief Executive of Gwent Wildlife Trust, said:

“We are delighted that the Welsh Government and Mr Drakeford have recognised that a new motorway would have been totally ecologically, socially and economically unsustainable for the people and wildlife of Wales. The Gwent Levels is like no other in the UK, it is vitally important to the well-being of not just wildlife but also people – it is green lungs of Newport and South Gwent. It should be cherished and showcased as a green leisure hub for Wales.”

Russell George, the Conservative Welsh Assembly Member for Montgomeryshire said:

“After years of procrastination and dithering from successive Welsh Labour Governments, £44 million spent on a public inquiry, and numerous pleas of help from business leaders, we’ve got nowhere. It’s shameful that the First Minister has poured millions of pounds down the drain in completing the inquiry, yet only to ignore its findings.

Congestion on this road is a foot on the windpipe of the South Wales economy, and is damaging our businesses and their future prospects. I’m now urging the First Minister to end the uncertainty and quickly give us an alternative to how he intends to alleviate congestion on the M4.”