“Stop the Coup” protest at Rt. Hon. Sir Mike Penning MP’s Hemel Hempstead Constituency Office

September 1, 2019 2:43 PM
Originally published by Hemel Hempstead Liberal Democrats

Crowd at HH anti-prorogation demo

Lib Dems joined Greens, Labour and a number of Conservatives, as over 100 protesters assembled outside Sir Mike Penning's Constituency Office at The Bury in the Old Town, to protest Prime Minister Johnson's unprecedented move to "Prorogue" Parliament for an incredible 5 weeks!

The power-grab comes just at a time when the Johnson Government needs to be closely scrutinised on how it is acting in a crisis, with the UK hugely divided on Brexit and a reckless "No Deal" looming in just over 60 days.

At 24 hours' notice, on Thursday 29th August, a peaceful protest was held for 90 minutes, with hundreds of drivers tooting support as they passed by.

Hemel's MP supports Prime Minister Boris Johnson and in his letter to constituents he justifies his position with an argument that he must know is false:

ProrogationLetterMikePenning

He says that "Recess" (voted for - or not - by MPs) is equivalent to Prorogation, but as an experienced MP and Privy Counsellor he knows they are two very different states. In Recess, Ministers have to continue answering correspondence and MPs can decide to return to sitting if, say, there is a crisis of some sort, involving medicine supplies or any other element of No deal preparation. With Prorogation this is not possible - and the PM can extend the shut-down using other devices, if he is emboldened by getting away with this.

Brexit is one thing, Proroguing Parliament, for eight times longer than necessary at the most irresponsible time, is a shameful abuse of power which we trust will be opposed by Parliamentarians of all Parties who respect the conventions by which our unwritten Constitution operates.

It is unprecedented, and who would use the newly-established precedent next? Someone unexpected, of whom Sir Mike doesn't approve?