Blackpool MP Gordon Marsden calls Boris Johnson a 'petulant man-child' in heated Brexit debate

Blackpool South’s Labour MP called the Prime Minister Boris Johnson a “petulant man-child who is unable to get his way with this House” during a heated Brexit debate in the Commons.

Wednesday, 4th September 2019, 10:10 am
Blackpool South's Labour MP Gordon Marsden

Gordon Marsden criticised Mr Johnson last night, shortly before MPs voted to take control of business in the House in a bid to stop the UK crashing out of the EU without a deal.

He said Mr Johnson had “disgracefully used the Prorogation” process to “shut down debate”, and said a no deal Brexit would “drive the NHS into the arms of Donald Trump” and would be “no good for the people in my constituency who are now experiencing unemployment at twice the national average”.

He added: "The list of warnings about a no-deal Brexit grows longer. Warnings about the supply and prices of fresh food, essential medicines, and chaos on the roads and at ports after Halloween come not from Marxists, Trotskyists, or left-wingers, but from such radical organisations as the British Retail Consortium and the Road Haulage Association.?

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"This is no longer just about Brexit or even whether people voted leave or remain; it is about the United Kingdom’s future as a progressive democracy."

MPs will today debate draft legislation put forward by a cross-party group which would require a delay to Brexit unless there is a deal of Parliamentary explicitly backed leaving the EU without one by October 19.

A vote on a snap general election by the same date could also be held later.

However, Labour indicated that they would not back the move - which would require the support of two-thirds of MPs - until chances of a no-deal Brexit were taken off the table.

Mr Johnson said Parliament was "on the brink of wrecking any deal" with Brussels after voting to give the cross-party alliance control of the Commons.

He told MPs: "I don't want an election but if MPs vote [today] to stop the negotiations and to compel another pointless delay of Brexit, potentially for years, then that will be the only way to resolve this."

Downing Street confirmed that the 21 Tory rebels - including former chancellors Ken Clarke and Philip Hammond - would lose the Conservative whip as a result of their actions.

Sir Nicholas Soames - Winston Churchill's grandson - also backed the rebel move, and said he would not stand at the next general election.

Former Tory ministers Rory Stewart, David Gauke, Greg Clark, Justine Greening, Dominic Grieve, Alistair Burt, Sam Gyimah, Anne Milton and Caroline Nokes also voted against the Government.

Mr Gauke tweeted: "For the first time in 14 years as an MP I voted against the Conservative Party whip. That whip has now been withdrawn.

"If tonight's motion had been lost, a no-deal Brexit would have been almost inevitable. Probably not a good career move but the right choice."

A source close to the rebels said: "Tonight's decisive result is the first step in a process to avert an undemocratic and damaging no-deal.

"No 10 have responded by removing the whip from two former chancellors, a former lord chancellor and Winston Churchill's grandson. What has happened to the Conservative Party?"

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn told the Prime Minister: "He wants to table a motion for a general election, fine.

"Get the Bill through first in order to take no deal off the table."

Lib Dem leader Jo Swinson said it was vital that the Commons does not "tip our country into an election at a point where there is any risk that we will crash out of the European Union during that election campaign or immediately after".

"We must act responsibly," she told MPs.

Today is set to be a dramatic day in the Commons, with Mr Johnson due to take his first Prime Minister's Questions at noon before the Chancellor Sajid Javid sets out public spending plans.

MPs will then debate the fresh Brexit draft legislation.

Meanwhile, a decision is expected at the Court of Session in Edinburgh after a cross-party group of MPs and peers brought legal action aimed at halting the suspension of Parliament.