Nearly 15,000 people in Leeds sign petition against Boris Johnson's suspension of Parliament

Thousands of people across Leeds have expressed outrage at the decision to suspend Parliament ahead of Brexit.

Thursday, 29th August 2019, 8:14 am
Thousands of people across Leeds signed a petition opposing Boris Johnson's decision to suspend Parliament in the run-up to Brexit. Picture: PA

Prime Minister Boris Johnson met with the Queen on Wednesday requesting asking permission to temporarily suspend Parliament for five weeks until October 14, as the deadline for exiting the EU looms at the end of the month.

The decision was met with outrage by MPs and members of the public, and a petition was set up demanding that Parliament is not prorogued.

At one point on Wednesday evening, the petition was garnering 1,000 signatures per minute, and the number currently stands at 1.18 million. Parliament petitions need 100,000 signatures in order to be considered for debate.

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Thousands marched in London on Wednesday and a flash protest was announced in Leeds against the plans to temporarily suspend Parliament. Picture: PA

At present, 14,726 people across Leeds have added their signatures.

It's as a flash protest was announced in Leeds city centre to voice opposition to the plans, with thousands attending a march in the capital on Wednesday evening.

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Constituencies with the biggest support for the petition included Leeds North East, with more than 3,000 signatures, and Leeds North West with just over 2,500.

It's after Leeds Central MP Hillary Benn hit out at Boris Johnson saying it was "completely unacceptable" that moves were being made to "prevent the Government from being held to account".

The Labour MP told The Yorkshire Post: “Whatever views one holds on Brexit, it is completely unacceptable that Parliament should be prevented from holding the Government to account at this absolutely crucial time for our country and its future.

"There is no mandate for no deal and it would be highly damaging to the Yorkshire economy."

Leeds West MP Rachel Reeves meanwhile called Johnson a "tin-pot" dictator in a backlash of criticism on Twitter.

She wrote: Suspending Parliament is a constitutional scandal. Boris Johnson is behaving like a tin-pot dictator who is terrified of scrutiny of his no deal Brexit which would have a devastating impact on jobs & business.

"His attempt to block MPs from doing the job they were elected for and debating his cliff-edge Brexit is deeply undemocratic is an alarming precedent. We won’t allow Parliament to be gagged through this act of cowardice from a leader who lacks the confidence to even listen to the fatal flaws in his plans."

The Prime Minister has denied claims the suspension of Parliament was to block MPs from considering ways to thwart Brexit plans, and said there would be "ample time" for debate either side of the EU summit on October 17.