Boris Johnson this week announced the will prorogue Parliament ahead of the Queen’s Speech on October 14, which will effectively limit the amount of time those against no deal have to stop the Prime Minister’s plans. The decision from the Conservative leader sparked fury among MPs against a no deal Brexit, with some MPs branding the move a “constitutional outrage”. Father of the House, Ken Clarke, hinted on Thursday evening that he could go as far as voting against his own leader in a vote of no-confidence, and even backing Jeremy Corbyn, to prevent Mr Johnson from delivering a no deal.
But, the remarks prompted a blistering attack from Tory MP for Ribble Valley, Nigel Evans, who claimed the Father of the House must be “absolutely out of your mind” to consider supporting Labour Party leader Mr Corbyn.
He said: “I would say to my colleague and friend Ken Clarke, are you absolutely out of your mind if you think it is the right think to vote against Boris Johnson, who was democratically elected by the membership of our party, in order to put Jeremy Corbyn in Number 10 of Downing Street, in order to stop what the people voted for in 2016.
“Just think what the sequences of everything I have just said Ken, and for goodness’ sake, do not do this.”
Tory former chancellor Ken Clarke said he would be willing to vote against the Government in a confidence vote to try to stop a no deal Brexit.
Asked if he would be willing to bring down the Government, Mr Clarke told ITV News: “If it’s the only way of stopping us plunging into the disaster of a no deal Brexit, then yes.”
Commenting on the decision from the Prime Minister this week, Mr Evans claimed he has even had Labour supporters praising the way Mr Johnson was handling Brexit.
He told talkRADIO: “I don’t know whether it has struck Jeremy that perhaps where is best where his street protests should go is Brussels in order to get the message across to the European Union. That the United Kingdom would very much like a deal with the EU and they should come to the negotiating table.
“I think Jeremy is taking his protests to the wrong cities, he should be going to the European Union and asking them to negotiate properly for a deal that is in the best interest of the European Union and the United Kingdom.”
He added: “I have got some very bad news for Jeremy Corbyn and indeed some of the Remainers in my own party – and it is this.
“Yesterday, during my gardening session and walking around…a number of people came up to me and they wanted to say how much they supported Boris Johnson.
“One of them even said to me, ‘look Nigel, I am even a Labour supporter, but I think Boris is doing a great job, he knows exactly what he wants and he is delivering it for the people.’
“I think they have got it completely wrong in their echo chambers, they think they somehow or other in trying to glue the UK to the EU in some form of single market and customs union and paying into the EU – something the British people totally voted against.”
Earlier this week, the Prime Minister hit back at criticism and refused to accept that he was limiting MPs time to debate Brexit as a result of the decision to suspend Parliament ahead of the Queen’s Speech on October 14.
Mr Johnson said: “There will be ample time on both sides of that crucial October 17 Summit in Parliament for MPs to debate the EU, Brexit and all the other issues.”
Keep out of it, Bercow! Iain Duncan Smith condemns Speaker [VIDEO]
EU minister admits Boris gamble making no deal Brexit ‘more likely’ [INSIGHT]
UK Fishermen ‘encouraged’ by Boris – but have grave warning [EXCLUSIVE]
The move from the Government came after opposition parties met at the start of this week and said they would do everything in their power to try to block a no deal exit from the Brussels bloc.
Campaigners against a no deal Brexit accused the Prime Minister of “trashing the constitution” after the Government’s plans to prorogue Parliament in the lead-up to the October 31 Brexit deadline.
Defending the decision on Thursday morning, Leader of the House, Jacob Rees-Mogg said: “I think the outrage is phoney and it is created by people who don’t want us to leave the European Union and are trying very hard to overturn the referendum result and don’t want the benefits of leaving the European Union.”
He added: “Parliament wasn’t going to be sitting for most of this time anyway. This is completely constitutional and proper.”
Tory rebel and former minister Sir Oliver Letwin, a leading opponent of a no deal Brexit, said he had been speaking to Commons Speaker John Bercow to establish “what the procedures are”.
He told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “There is no question of any MP cooking up a deal with the Speaker – you can’t do that, the Speaker has to follow the rules.
“It’s perfectly true that I, for many months, have been talking to the clerks and to the Speaker, and that’s the appropriate thing for MPs to do if they want to establish what the procedures are. The action here is on the part of MPs, not on the part of the Speaker.”
Shadow attorney general Baroness Chakrabarti said she believed opponents of Boris Johnson had the numbers in Parliament to force through a change in the law to block a no deal.