Search icon


09th Jun 2019

Second Tory leadership candidate says they could suspend parliament to force no-deal Brexit

James Dawson

“I would be using what was in my toolkit”

Esther McVey has become the second Conservative party leadership candidate, after Dominic Raab, to suggest that she could ask the Queen to suspend parliament in order to force through a no-deal Brexit.

Speaking on the Andrew Marr Show, McVey said that if selected as the Tory leader to “prorogue” parliament would not be her preferred option of ensuring Brexit happened, but she was not willing to rule it out.

Pressed by Marr on whether she would be willing to do so if necessary, she replied: “I wouldn’t be looking to do that. I have said I would use every tool at my disposal, so that would include that.

“It wouldn’t be my priority and I wouldn’t be looking to do that. I would be using what was in my toolkit.”

She added: “What we have seen by MPs going against the democratic vote of the country, they have torn up 400 years of history. They ripped up the rule book.

“So it seems somewhat wrong to me that people wanting to frustrate the vote can rip up the rule book, yet should I want to use any tools at my disposal I would be seen as incorrect, when I’m helping ensure the democratic vote of the people. ”

The former work and pensions secretary is one of eleven Tory MPs in the running to replace Theresa May as party leader and prime minister, though the front-runner in the contest remains Boris Johnson.

The process of selection sees Conservative MPs whittle the number of participants down to two, with the two candidates then being put to a ballot of the party’s grassroots membership. Tory MPs have until Monday to put themselves forward in the contest.

Speaking on the same show, Michael Gove – who publically admitted to using cocaine in his 20s this weekend – said he would not be willing to suspend parliament if he becomes prime minister.

He told Marr: “I don’t think that’s the right thing to do. We live in a parliamentary democracy. Parliament must vote in order to ensure we leave the EU.

“Proroguing parliament in order to try to get no-deal through, I think, would be wrong for many reasons.

“It would not be true to the best traditions of British democracy.”