Critics of Boris Johnson’s decision to suspend Parliament for a Queen’s Speech should either change the law or change the government, House of Commons leader Jacob Rees-Mogg said on Thursday.
The ardent Brexiteer met with Queen Elizabeth II at her Scottish residence in Balmoral on Wednesday, as one of the three Conservative members of the Queen’s Privy Council, to request the suspension of Parliament on behalf of the Prime Minister, which the Queen approved.
Speaking to the BBC Thursday, he called outrage against Johnson’s move “phony.”
“All these people who are wailing and gnashing their teeth know that there are two ways of doing what they want to do. One, is to change the government and the other is to change the law,” he dared lawmakers.
“If they don’t have the courage or the gumption to do either of those then we will leave on the 31st of October in accordance with the referendum result,” he added.
Responding to criticism that the move by the Prime Minister is designed to prevent Parliament from debating Brexit, he said some were “crying constitutional wolf” and that if there is an agreement with the EU, Parliament will have 13 days to implement it into UK law.
Rees-Mogg also criticized Speaker of the House of Commons John Bercow, after he said Wednesday that the move by the Government was a “constitutional outrage.”
The lawmaker said it wasn’t constitutional for the Speaker to express his opinion without direction of the House and that his comments were in a private capacity. Citing the words of Speaker William Lenthall, an English politician from the 17th century Civil War period, he said: “Mister Speaker has no eyes to see nor tongue to speak unless directed by the House.”