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Prime Minister's Update

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 6:44 pm on 25th September 2019.

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Photo of Wes Streeting Wes Streeting Labour, Ilford North 6:44 pm, 25th September 2019

The Prime Minister’s political hero, Sir Winston Churchill, when threatened with deselection by Chamberlainites in his Epping constituency in the 1930s, said:

“What is the use of Parliament if it is not the place where true statements can be brought before the people?”

He understood the role of parliamentarians as not simply delegates to this place but representatives; as servants of the people but also guardians of the national interest. There are certain pillars on which our democracy rests: Parliament, the judiciary, the free press, and the pillars of civil society. Does the Prime Minister not understand that given the way he has conducted himself, whether it is the unlawful Prorogation of Parliament, the language he has used the Chamber, or withdrawing the Whip from Members sitting behind him who seemingly have more regard for Conservative values than he does, he may be the problem and not the solution? If he really believes in consent, there are two ways to go back to the people. The first is to honour the law passed by the House to seek an extension to article 50, and we will gladly troop through the Lobby behind him. The other is to put a deal, or no deal, to the people in a confirmatory vote. Both those ways will unlock the parliamentary deadlock. The only question is whether he has the courage to do it.