A petition calling on Boris Johnson to abandon his plan to suspend Parliament has now fetched more than a million signatures.
Numbers have been rising rapidly throughout the day after the Prime Minister announced his move, triggering protests across the country.
The Queen today accepted Johnson’s request to suspend Parliament for five weeks from September 9, giving pro-remain MPs little time to stop a no-deal Brexit before October 31.
The PM has said it is ‘completely untrue’ that the decision has anything to do with forcing through a no-deal Brexit.
He insists a new Queen’s speech is needed on October 14 because he has a new government with an ‘exciting agenda’ requiring new legislation.
But not everyone is convinced, as thousands took to the streets of London and Manchester today calling for an end to the ‘coup’ staged by Johnson.
Commons speaker John Bercow said the move represents ‘a constitutional outrage’.
The House of Commons was initially expected to resume sitting after its summer break on 3 September.Petition launched to drug test all MPs
The petition was set up on August 15 but gained a staggering number of signatures in just a few hours after Johnson’s announcement.
Conservative chairman James Cleverly defended the PM’s move, arguing the government would be holding a Queen’s Speech ‘just as all new Governments do’.
House of Commons leader Jacob Rees-Mogg told Sky News: ‘This is completely normal procedure.’
But Deputy Labour leader Tom Watson said: ‘We do not have a ‘new government’. This action is an utterly scandalous affront to our democracy. We cannot let this happen.’
Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell tweeted: ‘Make no mistake, this is a very British coup.’
‘Whatever one’s views on Brexit, once you allow a Prime Minister to prevent the full and free operation of our democratic institutions you are on a very precarious path.’
Guy Verhofstadt, the European Parliament’s chief Brexit official, called Johnson’s move ‘sinister’.
He added: ‘As a fellow parliamentarian, my solidarity with those fighting for their voices to be heard,” he tweeted. “Suppressing debate on profound choices is unlikely to help deliver a stable future EU-UK relationship.’
The submission on the official government petitions site says: ‘Parliament must not be prorogued or dissolved unless and until the Article 50 period has been sufficiently extended or the UK’s intention to withdraw from the EU has been cancelled.’
Any petition that secures 10,000 signatures on parliament’s website is guaranteed a government response and 100,000 names will be considered for a debate.