Pro-Brexit newspapers have lined up to support Boris Johnson’s move to suspend Parliament, with the Prime Minister’s political manoeuvres making front page headlines today.
The Daily Express said Johnson “has right on his side”, adding that “any decent Briton who loves this country and respects democracy should applaud his actions”.
“May the force be with Boris in fight with MPs undermining democracy,” the paper, which campaigned for Brexit, headlined its leader column.
Johnson’s decision to prorogue Parliament for five weeks throughout September and October, which was approved by the Queen yesterday, was decried as a “constitutional outrage” by his political opponents.
The Government has denied claims that the suspension is a deliberate move to obstruct opposition to a no-deal Brexit by MPs.
But even the Telegraph, which backed Johnson as Tory leader and paid him as a columnist prior to taking office last month, said calling it an “audacious gamble would be something of an understatement”.
“But the die has been cast,” the pro-Leave paper said in a leader column. “Mr Johnson has acted boldly and resolutely, within the bounds of the constitution, to ensure that the Brexit vote is honoured.”
The Sun said Johnson was “entirely within his rights to suspend Parliament”. Doing so “doesn’t make him a ‘dictator’”, it said in reply to some of the PM’s critics.
“It doesn’t deprive Remainers of yet another chance to stop Brexit or vote him out… more’s the pity. It does make it a bit harder. But so what?”
The Sun went on: “Boris is not ‘running scared of our democracy’. Nor is he harming it. He is defending it from Remoaners.”
But The Guardian said the PM’s actions were “an affront to democracy”.
It said: “Mr Johnson is hijacking powers symbolically vested in the crown and wielding them in aggression against his parliamentary opponents.
“That he does it in pursuit of a hard Brexit is distressing for pro-Europeans. That he is prepared to do it at all should alarm everyone who values the traditions of British democracy.”
However, it conceded that while a “cynical, premeditated blow against the principle of parliamentary democracy”, it was not “a total subversion of the constitutional order on a par with a military putsch”.
The Mirror said: “Suspending Parliament is a scandalous sidelining of democracy by an unelected Prime Minister. Cynical Boris Johnson has confirmed he is an unprincipled Tory, putting himself first, second and third.”
The left-leaning tabloid called on the British public to “unite to defeat this outrage”, adding: “This is not about whether you want to remain in Europe or leave. This is about saving Parliament from a piratical PM.”
Only the Daily Star didn’t run the story on its front page.
UK national newspaper front pages 29/8/19: