Protesters gathered in Southampton on Wednesday evening to protest the decision by Boris Johnson to suspend Parliament. The group of about 30 protesters held a ‘Defend Democracy’ vigil on the steps of the Civic Centre in the city centre. These demonstrators included representatives from the Greens, Liberal Democrats, Labour and those of no political affiliation.
One of those attending the vigil, Richard Blackman, spoke of the: ‘dismay of Boris Johnson’s actions, which takes this country’s democracy to the brink’. Johnson’s decision has also been condemned by SUSU, with the union issuing a statement arguing that this was a ‘highly undemocratic historically unprecedented move’.
— Rhiannon 🔶 (@Rhi_the_Ginge) August 28, 2019
The decision made by the Prime Minister on Wednesday would cut the amount of time Parliament can sit between now and October 31st, when Britain is due to leave the European Union. This will reduce the number of days Parliament can potentially stop No Deal from occurring to just four.
The Labour MP for Southampton Test, Alan Whitehead, criticised the Prime Minister on BBC Radio Solent, accusing the Government of suspending Parliament for five weeks: ‘at a crucial period of discussion and negotiation‘. However, the Conservative MP for Southampton Itchen, Royston Smith, defended Boris Johnson’s decision, arguing that there was nothing extraordinary about it and that Parliament would have been suspended anyway to allow for the party conference season.
Although Boris Johnson will be hoping that the opposition to his move will die down, this looks unlikely, as more protests are planned for the weekend across the UK, including again in Southampton.