NEWS
14/08/2019 07:23 BST | Updated 14/08/2019 08:52 BST

John Bercow Warns He Will Fight Boris Johnson 'With Every Breath' To Stop Parliament Suspension

The speaker of the commons said the suspension of Parliament is "anathema to me".

John Bercow has warned he “will fight with every breath in my body” any attempt from Boris Johnson to suspend Parliament and force through a no-deal Brexit against MPs’ wishes.

The speaker of the commons told an audience at the Edinburgh Fringe festival that he “strongly” believes the House of Commons “must have its way”, in remarks reported by the Herald newspaper.

“And if there is an attempt to circumvent, to bypass or – God forbid – to close down Parliament, that is anathema to me,” he said.

“I will fight with every breath in my body to stop that happening.”

PA Wire/PA Images
John Bercow at Wimbledon earlier this year.

The remarks come as former chancellor Philip Hammond said Johnson would commit a betrayal of the referendum if he enacted a no-deal Brexit by listening to the “unelected” saboteurs “who pull the strings” of his Government.

Hammond, who resigned in anticipation of Johnson becoming Prime Minister, urged the Tory leader to take the UK out of the European Union with a deal in place.

But he said early signs for that “are not encouraging”, warning that demands to abolish the backstop had become a “wrecking” stance over a deal.

And Work and Pensions Secretary Amber Rudd said she would urge Johnson not to take that controversial move as part of his “do or die” commitment for Brexit by the October 31 deadline, the Press Association reports. 

Meanwhile, on Tuesday, Johnson conceded he expects negotiating a post-Brexit trade deal with the US would be a “tough old haggle”, but said he remains confident the UK “will get there”.

His remarks came in response to US President Donald Trump’s national security adviser, who said the UK would be “first in line” for a deal.

John Bolton added that it could occur on a “gradual sector-by-sector” basis.

But Johnson’s Brexit plans may be jeopardised early next month after a court agreed to fast-track a hearing on whether he can legally prorogue Parliament.

A judge in Edinburgh agreed to expedite a legal challenge from anti-Brexit campaigners including more than 70 MPs and peers.