Parliament will not be made an irrelevance by a “maverick populist who spouts off to his blogger friends” (that being Dominic Cummings), says Labour’s Peter Kyle, one of the MPs determined that Boris Johnson and his top adviser must not succeed in any plan to push through a no-deal Brexit against the will of parliament.
The fixed-term parliaments act means Johnson would not have to resign immediately upon losing a confidence vote and could drag things out past 31 October allowing a hard Brexit to take place before any election. But an alternative prime minister might also come forward claiming the confidence of the Commons, which could oblige the Queen to sack Johnson and appoint the claimant as head of a new government. Amid swirling speculation over who might prevail in such a confrontation – and debate over whether the Queen would have to adjudicate – rebel MPs are working on a plan to force parliament to sit through the autumn recess, giving them three weeks’ more sitting time to somehow stop a no-deal Brexit.
Dominic Grieve, the Tory MP and former attorney general, has said it would be unconstitutional for Johnson to defy any vote of no confidence and remain in Downing Street until after the Brexit deadline of 31 October. But Cummings, approached by Sky News outside his home on Tuesday, gave a rare public comment suggesting that parliament would be unable to thwart him and Johnson: “I don’t know very much about very much. Mr. Grieve … we’ll see what he’s right about.” Cummings preceded the remark by saying that he doesn’t think of himself as arrogant.
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