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Boris Johnson suspends UK Parliament after latest Brexit defeat

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has succeeded in his plan to suspend Britain's rebellious Parliament for five weeks, but he has achieved little else in his first prolonged jousting with legislators determined to prevent a no-deal Brexit.

The simmering showdown between Johnson and Parliament over Brexit came to a head as lawmakers delivered three defeats to the government's plans for leaving the European Union, before being sent home early for a contentious five-week suspension of the legislature.

In a session that ran well past midnight, Parliament ordered the government to release private communications about its Brexit plans and rejected Johnson's call for a snap election to break the political deadlock.

Parliament was then suspended — or prorogued — at the government's request until Oct. 14, a drastic move that gives Johnson a respite from rebellious lawmakers as he plots his next move.

Opponents accuse him of trying to avoid democratic scrutiny. What is usually a solemn, formal prorogation ceremony erupted into raucous scenes as opposition lawmakers in the House of Commons chamber shouted "Shame on you" and held up signs reading "Silenced."

Commons Speaker John Bercow expressed his displeasure at Parliament's suspension, saying "this is not a standard or normal prorogation."

"It's one of the longest for decades and it represents an act of executive fiat," he said.

The prime minister has had a turbulent week since Parliament returned from its summer break on Sept. 3.

He kicked 21 lawmakers out of the Conservative group in Parliament after they sided with the opposition, and saw two ministers quit his government — one of them his own brother.

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TVNZ Europe correspondent Daniel Faitaua is in Westminster following another day of drama. Source: 1 NEWS


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