Brexit: Ex-PM vows legal action if UK Parliament suspended

Brexit: Ex-PM vows legal action if UK Parliament suspended

Brexit: Ex-PM vows legal action if UK Parliament suspended

Former British prime minister John Major said it would be unacceptable and against tradition to shut down Parliament, and he would seek a court ruling to overturn it if it happened.

Mr Boris Johnson, the favourite to become the next United Kingdom prime minister, refused to commit to keeping Britain's ambassador to Washington in his role amid a diplomatic spat that saw US President Donald Trump calling the envoy "a pompous fool".

But he refused to say whether he would keep Sir Kim in post, and instead he told the ITV debate: "It is vital that our civil service is not politicised by ministers leaking what they say".

In order to prorogue Parliament, shutting it down until the next state opening, a prime minister would have to ask the Queen to formally allow it.

"I told Theresa May how to do that deal, but she went her own foolish way - was unable to get it done".

House Speaker John Bercow has said it is "blindingly obvious" that the next prime minister would not be able to sideline parliament, adding: "Parliament will not be evacuated from the centre stage of the decision-making process on this important matter".

"You can not and should not bypass Parliament in this fashion", Major said.

"She is then in the midst of a constitutional controversy that no serious politician should put the queen in the middle of", he said.

In order to close down parliament, the prime minister would have to go to Her Majesty the Queen and ask for her permission to prorogue.

Boris Johnson and Jeremy Hunt, rivals to become Britain's next prime minister, clashed over who could be most trusted on Brexit on Tuesday in a sometimes bad-natured television debate just two weeks before one will be crowned.

Sir John, who is backing Mr Hunt for the Tory leadership, said: "There is no conceivable justification, wherever we are, in closing down Parliament to bypass its sovereignty". Johnson said: "I've worked very well with Jeremy over many years, I greatly admire his ability to change his mind", a reference to Hunt's support for the Remain campaign in the 2016 Brexit referendum.

Sir John said "we carried the election until nearly the very last date" and it was an "absurd charge".

"If you have to choose between what is in the interests of the country and the future or the short-term interests of the Conservative party, I would unhesitatingly choose the interests of the country as a whole", he said.

Hunt has ruled out such a suspension.

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