Boris Johnson has been accused of “leading an authoritarian regime” after he decided to suspend Parliament for five weeks.
Mr Johnson, in a “people’s prime minister’s questions” broadcast on Facebook from Downing Street yesterday, said Parliament had been suspended in order to hold a Queen’s Speech and “push on” with a new legislative agenda.
Mr Johnson’s decision to prorogue Parliament meant that he avoided facing questions from MPs at prime minister’s questions in the Commons yesterday and also avoided an appearance before the fearsome liaison select committee.
The prime minister, who instead took questions from the public during a 15-minute session, denied that his actions were “authoritarian” and “anti-democratic”.
He said: “What we’re trying to do is implement the result of the 2016 referendum – the largest democratic exercise ever conducted in the history of this country.
“What is making people a bit fed up is that the politicians, us, Parliament, have so far failed to implement the people’s will and that is I think the real failure of democracy.”
Mr Johnson also said that “the ice flows are cracking and there is movement under the keel” in negotiations with Brussels on a new deal.
“We can do this thing”, he added.
Mr Johnson, in contradiction of a law passed on Monday which requires the UK Government to delay the exit date if a deal has not been reached by mid-October, concluded by saying: “If we cannot get a new Withdrawal Agreement then be in no doubt we will leave on October 31.”