North Somerset MP supports Boris Johnson's plans to suspend Parliament

PUBLISHED: 14:10 29 August 2019 | UPDATED: 09:26 30 August 2019

A person wearing a Boris Johnson 'head' digs a grave at the foot of a tombstone during a protest organised by Avaaz and Best for Britain, outside Downing Street in London. Picture: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire

A person wearing a Boris Johnson 'head' digs a grave at the foot of a tombstone during a protest organised by Avaaz and Best for Britain, outside Downing Street in London. Picture: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire

North Somerset's MP Dr Liam Fox has dismissed claims the Government is acting undemocratically by suspending Parliament for a month before Brexit.

Protesters outside the Houses of Parliament. Picture: Kirsty O'Connor/PA WireProtesters outside the Houses of Parliament. Picture: Kirsty O'Connor/PA Wire

The former international trade secretary insisted it was 'normal practice' for a new Prime Minister to set out their parliamentary programme and noted the current session has been the longest since the Civil War.

His support follows approval from the Queen for PM Boris Johnson to suspend parliamentary sessions for more than a month, from the second week of September until October 14.

Critics have said Mr Johnson is going to force through a 'no deal' Brexit.

Dr Fox criticised people who want the UK to remain in the European Union.

Dr Liam Fox. Picture: Victoria Jones/PA WireDr Liam Fox. Picture: Victoria Jones/PA Wire

Dr Fox told The Telegraph: "They have been in denial about the referendum result from the start. Rather than admitting defeat, they have retreated into the ultimate echo chamber of self-justification, egged on by the metropolitan liberal elite, their media allies and the chatterati.

"Their recent talk about a Government of national unity registered on the pathological scale of political self-delusion.

"In their parallel universe it does not seem odd to imagine a so-called unity Government which is specifically designed to exclude representatives of the majority who won the referendum.

"None of this should come as a surprise, for their stunning hypocrisy, opportunism and sheer undemocratic bias has been visible for the past three years."

Protesters outside the Houses of Parliament. Picture: Kirsty O'Connor/PA WireProtesters outside the Houses of Parliament. Picture: Kirsty O'Connor/PA Wire

Dr Fox said the 'anti-democratic tendencies' of hardcore remain activists 'would be to blame' for a 'no deal Brexit'.

WATCH: Boris Johnson on Weston General Hospital and Brexit.

More than 1,500 people in North Somerset's constituencies have signed a petition demanding the move to suspend Parliament is halted.

The petition on Parliament's website amassed the 100,000 signatures required to be considered for debate by MPs less than three hours after Mr Johnson announced his plan.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson. Picture: Darren Staples/PA WirePrime Minister Boris Johnson. Picture: Darren Staples/PA Wire

In North Somerset's constituencies, 1,604 people had put their name to the petition by 4.30pm yesterday (Wednesday), with 1,013 coming from North Somerset and 591 in Weston-super-Mare. In total, it has amassed more than 450,000 signatures.

Liberal Democrat parliamentary candidate for Weston, Patrick Keating, in an open letter to the town's MP John Penrose, called Mr Johnson's action 'outrageous'.

Cllr Keating said: "This action is an obvious, desperate and outrageous attempt to stifle democratic debate and the work of our elected MPs to force through a policy that has no support in the House of Commons.

"Not only is this action a radical departure from constitutional norms, it prevents Parliament from focussing on issues that matter to the people of Weston and the villages such as housing, our NHS, policing and schools.

Police talking to protesters outside Downing Street. Picture: Amina Malik/PA WirePolice talking to protesters outside Downing Street. Picture: Amina Malik/PA Wire

"I call on you to join the hundreds of your colleagues who have pledged to oppose the cancelling of Parliament and to sign the Church House Declaration."

The Mercury and Times has contacted Mr Penrose for a comment.

A protest against the suspension of Parliament will take place in Weston's Italian Gardens tonight (Friday) from 6.30-7.30pm.

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