October 2, 2019 / 5:32 PM / 2 months ago

UK to suspend parliament for routine short period to launch policy programme

Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson gives a closing speech at the Conservative Party annual conference in Manchester, Britain, October 2, 2019. REUTERS/Henry Nicholls

LONDON (Reuters) - British Prime Minister Boris Johnson will ask Queen Elizabeth to suspend, or prorogue, parliament for a matter of days from next Tuesday to launch its new legislative agenda.

Last week, Britain’s Supreme Court ruled that Johnson’s previous suspension of parliament was unlawful after critics argued it was being used to prevent lawmakers from scrutinising his Brexit plans, forcing parliament to reconvene amid angry scenes.

That suspension had been due to last five weeks.

But with parliament needing to be prorogued before any new legislative launch, known as a Queen’s Speech, the government has requested a much shorter suspension, meaning it should take place as normal.

“I want to deliver on the people’s priorities,” Johnson said in a statement.

“Through a Queen’s Speech, the government will set out its plans for the NHS (health service), schools, tackling crime, investing in infrastructure and building a strong economy. We will get Brexit done on 31 October and continue delivering on these vital issues.”

Reporting by Kate Holton; editing by Stephen Addison

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