More than 1,000 in Calderdale sign petition demanding Parliament suspension is halted

More than 1,000 sign petition demanding Parliament suspension is halted in Calderdale
More than 1,000 sign petition demanding Parliament suspension is halted in Calderdale

More than 1,000 people in Calderdale's constituencies have signed a petition demanding that a move to suspend Parliament is halted.

It follows approval from the Queen for Boris Johnson’s plan to suspend Parliament for more than a month, from the second week of September until October 14.

The petition on Parliament's website amassed the 100,000 signatures required to be considered for debate by MPs less than three hours after the Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced his plan to prorogue Parliament in order to push through his new domestic agenda.

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In Calderdale's constituencies, 1,487 people had put their name to the petition by 4.30pm on Wednesday. In total, it had amassed more than 450,000 signatures by that time.

Of Calderdale's two constituencies, Calder Valley had the most signatures, 1,081, followed by Halifax with 406.

Any petition that secures 10,000 signatures is guaranteed a government response and 100,000 names sees the petitions committee consider it for debate by MPs.

The petition, which was created by Mark Johnston on Parliament's website, states that Parliament should not be prorogued unless there is another extension of the Brexit deadline – or the idea of leaving the European Union is scrapped altogether.

It says: "Parliament must not be prorogued or dissolved unless and until the Article 50 period has been sufficiently extended or the UK's intention to withdraw from the EU has been cancelled."

The Queen approved the plan on Wednesday afternoon, which will see Parliament prorogued no earlier than September 9 and no later than September 12, until October 14.

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Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said he "protested in the strongest possible terms on behalf of my party" in a letter to the Queen and called for a meeting alongside other opposition members of the Privy Council.

Liberal Democrat leader Jo Swinson also wrote to the monarch "to express my concern at Boris Johnson's anti-democratic plan to shut down Parliament".

Commons Speaker John Bercow – who has repeatedly angered Tory MPs over his approach to Brexit matters in the Commons – interrupted his holiday to launch a tirade against the Prime Minister.

"However it is dressed up, it is blindingly obvious that the purpose of prorogation now would be to stop Parliament debating Brexit and performing its duty in shaping a course for the country," he said.

Mr Johnson has denied the move is to pave the way for an early general election.

But he said it would allow him to bring forward legislation for a new Withdrawal Agreement if a deal can be done with Brussels around the time of the European Council summit on October 17.

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