POLITICS
29/08/2019 18:59 BST

Defence Secretary Ben Wallace Caught On Camera Suggesting Suspending Parliament Was Fuelled By Brexit

A Downing Street source said the senior minister "misspoke".

A senior Tory minister has been caught on camera suggesting Boris Johnson’s decision to prorogue parliament was because of Brexit - contrary to what the new Prime Minister stated.

Defence Secretary Ben Wallace was filmed speaking to French counterpart Florence Parly moments before a meeting of European ministers in Helsinki.

His comments in the footage, broadcast by the BBC, runs counter to the official justification to suspend parliament. “This has got fuck-all to do with Brexit,” one Downing Street insider told HuffPost UK on why they were doing it. Wallace appeared unaware that microphones were picking up his conversation.

Wallace appeared to suggest Johnson’s motivation was the difficulty of having “no majority” in the Commons.

He was heard saying: “We’ve suddenly found ourselves with no majority and a coalition, and that’s not easy for our system.

“Parliament has been very good at saying what it doesn’t want, but it has been awful at saying what it wants. That’s the reality.

“So, you know, eventually any leader has to, you know, try. I don’t know what the outcome of it… You know, politics.”

Downing Street has distanced itself from the suggestion.

A Number 10 source said: “The Defence Secretary misspoke and was not involved in discussions about the Queen’s speech.

“The Queen’s speech will allow us to set out an ambitious legislative programme to deliver on our domestic priorities such as tackling violent crime, investing in our health service and tackling the cost of living.”