August 7, 2019 / 9:15 AM / 4 months ago

UK politicians do not get to choose which votes they respect - PM Johnson's top adviser

Dominic Cummings, special advisor for Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson, is seen at Downing Street in London, Britain August 2, 2019. REUTERS/Simon Dawson

LONDON (Reuters) - British Prime Minister Boris Johnson believes politicians do no get to choose which votes they respect, his senior adviser Dominic Cummings said on Wednesday, a pointed remark aimed at lawmakers who have vowed to prevent a no-deal Brexit.

Johnson has promised to take Britain out of the European Union on Oct. 31, with or without an exit deal, potentially setting himself up for a major clash with lawmakers in parliament who have said they will try to stop a no-deal exit.

“The most simple thing is the prime minister believes that politicians don’t get to choose which votes they respect, that is the critical issue,” Cummings, the mastermind behind the 2016 vote to leave the EU, told Sky News.

One route being considered is seeking to collapse the government and force an election via a no confidence vote, but Cummings is reported to have told ministers that Johnson could simply choose to hold such an election after Oct. 31.

Conservative lawmaker Dominic Grieve, one of the key proponents behind efforts to block a no-deal, said earlier this week that Cummings did not understand how the British constitution worked and that Johnson would not be able to block an alternative government being formed during the 14-day period which follows a successful no confidence vote.

Asked about the comments, Cummings said: “Mr Grieve will see what he is right about”.

Reporting by Kylie MacLellan, Editing by Guy Faulconbridge

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