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Listening to speeches at the Defend Democracy demonstration in Whitehall last Saturday.

Listening to speeches at the Defend Democracy demonstration in Whitehall last Saturday.

Local parties team up to demand MP respond to suspension of Parliament

The Greens, Labour and the Liberal Democrats have jointly penned an open letter to local MP Amber Rudd demanding she make clear her position on last week’s suspension of Parliament by prime minister Boris Johnson. The public are invited to participate in a mass signing of the letter next Saturday. Nick Terdre reports.

The letter accuses the MP of letting down her constituents by remaining silent in the face of last week’s move by Johnson to have Parliament suspended after stating in June that it would be “outrageous to consider proroguing Parliament.” Rudd, who voted for Remain in the referendum, is one of a small number of previous PM Theresa May’s Cabinet to retain her ministerial post under May’s successor.

The text – see below – was agreed by the Greens’ Julia Hilton, Labour’s Peter Chowney and the LibDems’ Nick Perry and has been posted on a StopthecoupHastings Facebook page.

Members of the public will be able to add their signature to a large format version of the letter at a mass signing outside St Mary in the Castle at noon next Saturday, 7 September.

Rudd’s website flags up her thoughts on anti-social behaviour as published in her Hastings Observer column last Friday but makes no mention of the suspension of Parliament earlier in the week.

Deep disappointment

“I am deeply disappointed in Amber Rudd for her betrayal of Remainers in Hastings & Rye,” Perry told HOT. “What Boris Johnson is doing to Parliament is making a mockery of the Brexiteers’ wish to take back control.

“The only good thing is that Peter, Julia and I have been able to work together in opposing this, alongside other concerned citizens.”

Hilton commented: “Boris Johnson’s actions have confirmed mine and many others’ belief that he is unfit to govern our country. The same goes for our MP Amber Rudd, whose hypocrisy over the last few months defies belief.

“The one small hope is that this cowardly act of attempting to shut down debate and dissent will serve to unite progressive parties in a common goal to fight the takeover of our country by the far right.”

Medieval tyrant

In a statement Chowney said, “Proroguing parliament is a desperate attempt to force through a no-deal Brexit that no-one voted for, with Boris Johnson showing all the qualities of a medieval tyrant. As recently as June, Amber Rudd seemed to agree with that, saying: ‘I think it’s outrageous to consider proroguing parliament. We are not Stuart kings.’

“So she seems to be likening the prime minister to Charles I, and it didn’t end well for him. I cannot understand why she has abandoned all her principles so quickly.  We need an explanation about why what was so unacceptable a couple of months ago is now apparently fine. Can she really be that desperate to hang on to her job?”

Perry and Chowney are their respective parties’ Parliamentary candidates in the event of a general election, the prospect of which observers think has been brought closer by the suspension of Parliament. The Greens have yet to choose a candidate or decide if they will stand one.

On Friday at 2pm Labour has organised a march from the Asda supermarket in Silverhill to the local Conservative headquarters on the nearby Ponswood industrial estate. The march is open to all and everyone is welcome to bring their own banners and placards, Chowney told HOT.

Text of Letter to Amber Rudd

“As we meet to sign this letter, the country is still reeling from an unprecedented attack on the sovereignty of Parliament – by our own Government. We were in agreement with you when, back in June, you were interviewed on Hastings Pier and condemned any attempt to stop Parliament doing its job of protecting the best interests of the British people, British businesses and our public services. Indeed, you said: “I think it’s outrageous to consider proroguing parliament. We are not Stuart kings”. Imagine our profound disappointment that you not only accepted a position in Boris Johnson’s government and abandoned your Remainer convictions, but have now said nothing in opposition to the Prime Minister’s decision to prorogue Parliament.

“You have, in our view, let yourself, and the people of Hastings & Rye down. We, the under-signed, now demand that you resign from Boris Johnson’s Cabinet. If you will not, you should have the courage to explain to the constituency, in writing, the reasons for your refusal, and for your public silence on this most crucial of issues. We look forward to your swift response.”

 

This article was amended by Nick Terdre on 4 September 2019.

Posted 13:34 Tuesday, Sep 3, 2019 In: Politics

5 Comments

Please read our comment guidelines before posting on HOT

  1. David Stevenson

    We should be looking at the bigger picture not the trivia of Brexit. Boris Johnson has set a dangerous precedent. If any Prime Minister can suspend Parliament just so that they can massage their own ego, then democracy in this country is under threat. We all know that politicians are useless but 650 idiots deciding our fate is more democratic than 1 idiot doing so.

    Comment by David Stevenson — Thursday, Sep 5, 2019 @ 12:34

  2. Patrick Burton

    At the referendum, I don’t remember being offered the chaos caused by a possible ‘no deal’ Brexit. Or talk about the Irish backstop, or the threat to the Irish Peace Agreement; or that the pound would crash, (with further to go with no deal). Or that ‘taking back control’ might lead to a constitutional crisis; or the many other problems that have been thrown up since Article 50 was invoked without the British government having any realistic negotiating position. The Leave campaign and pro-leave ministers clearly said it would be easy, and Michael Gove, when possible problems were pointed out by the likes of the head of the Bank of England and most economists and business organisations, said we didn’t need experts.
    The previous result to leave was by a tiny majority, Surely it is reasonable, now that the full implications, positive and negative, of Brexit are much clearer, that we should have a second referendum, election or no election.

    Comment by Patrick Burton — Thursday, Sep 5, 2019 @ 08:37

  3. Chris S

    Dear me! These comments will not do.
    There is a headless mentality of some people that to leave the EU will be the panacea we all need and will be better from. How so?
    1/ Food will become more expensive, particularly if it’s obtained from the US or from Commonwealth / former Commonwealth members, plus it will generate far more pollution in the transport costs; not recommended.
    2/ A closer alliance with the US will be dangerous; swapping one loose cannon (Johnson) for another (Trump) is stupid. Trump has a business attitude to everything, and everything thus has its price, and not simply a monetary price.
    Johnson et al have proved simply dishonest in all their dealings with the public, to the extent that the same public have wised up to their connivances. None of them will admit to any of their dealings with the EU at this time, other than saying effectively, ‘don’t worry, it will be all right.’ We aren’t being told, in spite of many requests from within and without his party.
    3/ Rees-Mogg’s arrogant loutish behaviour in Parliament on Tuesday shows once again his disdain for anyone who criticises his antics, treating them like they were his public school fags.
    4/ Johnson has ‘form’ for making basic errors in his time as Mayor of London. Think of the highly expensive Boris Routemasters; of the garden bridge in London; and of the unusable water cannons. These examples will suffice to give the character illustration
    One more point. Yes, it has been a long time that Article 50 has been under discussion. That is important. In that time, approx 1.5m voters have passed on, and 2m potential voters have been added. Therefore, the referendum is inaccurate in reflecting the views of the populace – let alone of those who have changed their minds with far more knowledge of what leaving or a getting a deal means. Remember ‘the extra £350 million for the NHS’ on the red bus. That was quickly shot down as factually incorrect, and was the start of the disingenuousity of the Conservative government.
    A new referendum, over 3 years on from the original, and now us, the public, know far more, is the way to stop this bickering and tinkering, and will enable the government, of whichever persuasion, to proceed confidently after its result.

    These are my studied opinions.

    Comment by Chris S — Thursday, Sep 5, 2019 @ 00:42

  4. Ms.Doubtfire

    How hypocritical of these people!!! They are refusing to accept that the outcome of the referendum was through a democratic vote. I was not particuarly happy when Tony Blair was elected as prime minister but had to accept that this was a democratic vote and he won. It is high time these remainers accepted the result of the referendum and packed their bags and went away.
    Boris Johnson has done the right thing in proroguing parliament – what is the point in continuing arguing day after day when over the past three years, parliament has got absolutely nowhere with this Brexit problem? Deal or no deal, this has to be resolved and crushing our democractic rights is not the answer.
    Had Theresa May shown a bit more courage we would not be where we are today…she was a weak prime minister with her own Remain agenda …at least Boris says it how it is and we would be well advised to listen to this man.

    Comment by Ms.Doubtfire — Wednesday, Sep 4, 2019 @ 10:52

  5. Mr E

    What a sad bunch of remoaners. In the event of a general election Peter Chowney and Nick (Loser) Perry will have no chance. Boris must suspend parliament until Brexit is delivered (with or without a deal), and deliver on the democratic decision of the people. For far too long parliament has been denying the will of the people to leave the EU.

    Comment by Mr E — Tuesday, Sep 3, 2019 @ 20:34

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