Welwyn Hatfield MP calls prorogation backlash 'completely out there and untrue'
PUBLISHED: 17:27 30 August 2019 | UPDATED: 12:55 02 September 2019
Welwyn Hatfield's MP called the backlash surrounding Parliament being shut for five weeks, known as prorogation, "completely out there and untrue".
Grant Shapps, who is a member of the cabinet in his role as transport secretary, told ITN today (Aug 30) that "every parliament is prorogued several times during the five-year period of that parliament".
However he argues that this has not been happening due to Brexit taking over the domestic agenda during the last five years.
He says the government needs to lay out its plans for hospitals, schools and police and needs the Queen needs to come and properly open parliament to get this done.
"So this is simply to do something we should have been doing all along," he told ITN.
"And for all of that we're getting all of this fuss. But I have to say it's pretty overblown."
He criticised MPs complaining about Brexit as they "knew what they were voting for" when they decided to trigger Article 50 and leave the EU.
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Mr Shapps said: "Everyone signed up and said if we're going to leave [...] and we should respect that."
The move from the Government on Wednesday has seen a wave of protests up and down the country with some in Mr Shapps' own constituency.
Pro-remain Welwyn Hatfield for Europe group, with members of the local Liberal Democrat party, raced down to the Hatfield parliamentary office this morning at 9am to make their views heard.
Burkhard Kloss, co-chair of Welwyn Hatfield for Europe, said the group also delivered three boards full of signatures to the MP's office.
Welwyn Hatfield Labour parliamentary candidate Rosie Newbigging also said she was "appalled" by the announcement.
"This is a smash and grab on our democracy to force through a disastrous no deal Brexit. I have heard from many constituents today who are in total disbelief and deeply fearful," Ms Newbigging told the Welwyn Hatfield Times.
A UK-wide petition to 'not prorogue Parliament', started on Wednesday, has received over 1.6 million signatures so far.
This translated into 2,500 constituents in Welwyn Hatfield and nearly 2,000 signing up for Hertsmere.
You can view the prorogation petition at petition.parliament.uk/petitions/269157.