Rory Stewart challenges Boris Johnson over the claim that he privately suggested to Brexiters that he would suspend Parliament in order to push through a No-Deal Brexit.

• Rory Stewart came seventh in the first ballot of Conservative MPs with only 19 votes.

• Sources told The Times that Boris Johnson privately insisted he could force through a No-Deal Brexit.

• Stewart said that if he cannot break the deadlock in Parliament, he would turn to the option of a “Brexit assembly” of citizens to thrash out a compromise.

• On Wednesday, Stewart — who previously described a No-Deal Brexit as “catastrophic”, “undeliverable” and “unnecessary” — voted against a cross-party motion to stop No-Deal in Parliament.

This afternoon, Rory Stewart MP was answering Sky News’ Beth Rigby’s questions in Parliament about claims that Boris Johnson – the leading candidate in the Conservative Leadership contest – suggested to Brexiters that he would be ready to suspend Parliament in order to force a No-Deal Brexit.

The reaction of the MP for Penrith and The Border was strong and impassioned:

“Let’s get Boris to be straight. Does he or does he not consider locking the doors of Parliament to be acceptable? That’s an unconstitutional, improper, really disturbing suggestion that you try to get something through by locking the doors of Parliament.”

“Answer us. I’ve been asking for a week. Boris, are you gonna lock the doors of Parliament? And if so, tell people. Because we want to know what kind of leader and prime minister we are voting for.”

“But he won’t be able to. I guaranty you if he would try, I and every member of Parliament would sit across the road in Methodist Central Hall and we’ll hold our own session of Parliament and we will bring him down. Because you do not ever lock the doors on Parliament in this country or indeed in any other country with any respect in the world.”

“Somebody who attempted to subvert our Constitution, our liberties, our Parliament – this place, who dared to stand as prime minister and claimed they could lock the doors on Parliament would not deserve to be prime minister. And this Parliament would meet whether locked the doors or not and we would bring him down.”

“If he locked the doors of Parliament, he would be doing it because he knew that Parliament was entirely and completely against the central plank of his policy and he would try to stop Parliament from bringing him down by not allowing Parliament to sit. That’s what Charles I did. That led to very, very disturbing things in this country.”

“I’m sure he doesn’t mean it. I’m sure, like his taxation policy and his employer national insurance policy, he just hasn’t thought it through. So please think it through.”

Watch Rory Stewart’s entire interview on Sky News:

Rory Stewart, 13 June 2019. / Sky News

Funny enough, the BBC just announced last week a new docu-drama called “Charles I: Downfall of a King” to watch soon on BBC4, that tells the story of King Charles I, as he engages in an increasingly bitter battle with Parliament for power and control. A Parliament in chaos, a nation divided, plots, populism, power and politics...

What a coincidence!

I bet Rory Stewart and Boris Johnson will be watching!

“Charles I: Downfall of a King” trailer. / BBC

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[This is an original piece, first published by the author in | The author writes in a personal capacity.]

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(Cover: Flickr/Foreign and Commonwealth Office - Rory Stewart, Minister of State for the Department for International Development and Minister of State for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. | 30 Oct 2017. / Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.)