LABOUR MPs across the region reacted furiously to Boris Johnson’s move to suspend Parliament – but Conservatives said it was about setting out the new Government’s agenda.

Helen Goodman, Bishop Auckland’s Labour MP, said: “This is a constitutional outrage. Prorogation is usually three to seven days, this is five weeks. It is quite wrong for Boris Johnson to suspend Parliament because he fears he will lose a vote. Who does he think he is? Charles I?”

The Northern Echo:

Dr Paul Williams, Labour MP for Stockton South, said: “The Prime Minister is trying to ram through a no-deal Brexit, which would cost 1,110 people in our area their jobs and would cost our region £7bn over the next 15 years.

"The effect of a no-deal Brexit on our region will be like Thatcherism on steroids. I can’t stand by and let Boris Johnson do this to Teesside.

The Northern Echo:

“I’m fighting as hard as I can to protect local livelihoods. He’s gambling with all of our futures.

“MPs should be at work, in Parliament, standing up for our constituents.”

But Simon Clarke, Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury and Conservative MP for Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland, tweeted: “In 400 years we haven’t had a session of Parliament that’s lasted as long as this. We need a Queen’s Speech to set out a bold agenda for after we leave the EU – on policing, infrastructure and the NHS. And there will still be time for a Withdrawal Agreement if terms are agreed.”

Alex Cunningham, Labour Stockton North MP, said: “This attempt by the Prime Minister to circumvent our Parliamentary democracy is the action of a dictator and must be stopped at all costs. Parliament has made it clear that a no-deal Brexit should not happen, and there is a substantial Commons majority with that view. To effectively send MPs away from Westminster to stop them exercising their role would set a dangerous precedent and could lead to any administration in the future simply suspending Parliament to get its own way.

“If the Prime Minister persists with this course of action and can’t be stopped by Parliament or through the courts, there may be no option open to MPs other than a vote of no confidence against his Government.”

Roberta Blackman-Woods, Labour Durham MP, said: “I think what the Prime Minister is proposing is profoundly undemocratic and I am supporting the legal campaign in Westminster to stop the suspension of parliament. I will of course be working closely with colleagues at Westminster to do all we can to prevent any suspension of parliament in the near future.”

North West Durham Labour MP Laura Pidcock said: “Behind the scenes the Labour party is thinking of the very best way to deal with this very serious threat to our democracy. Not since 1911 has somebody proposed shutting down parliament, because that is what it is.

“He is shutting down Parliament to avoid scrutiny. Whether people have Brexit fatigue or not we still need to find a way through this process. You can just see Trumpesque tactics that one way he is suggesting we move forward to relinquish himself of responsibility of being accountable.

“Whether your care about Brexit or not, or leaving with or without a deal, remain or leave, people have to care about this as an affront to democracy. Leave voters voted to take back control, but Boris Johnson is requesting to shut down Parliament. What kind of control is that?”