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South Norfolk MP Richard Bacon says decision to suspend parliament 'should be welcomed'


By Newsdesk Diss


South Norfolk MP Richard Bacon says the decision to suspend parliament should be welcomed.

The south Norfolk MP made his comments as thousands of people across the region sign a petition demanding that the move is halted.

The decision to suspend parliament 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.

Richard Bacon, MP for South Norfolk. Contributed picture
Richard Bacon, MP for South Norfolk. Contributed picture

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.

In South Norfolk's constituencies, 8,255 people had put their name to the petition by 11am on Thursday. In total, it had amassed more than 1.3 million signatures by that time.

Of South Norfolk's three constituencies, Norwich South had the most signatures, 4,175, followed by South Norfolk, represented by Mr Bacon, with 2,448 and Mid Norfolk with 1,632.

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.

Mr Bacon said: "Prorogation normally happens every year. It is hard to see what the fuss is about.

"We are well overdue for a new session of Parliament. Those who think a deal is importantshould welcome this move because the Speaker already said we can't vote on the old Agreement yet again in the current Session.

"Those who simply want to be sure we do actually leave the EU should also welcome it."

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.

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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