UK's Johnson threw ambassador to USA 'under the bus': junior minister

Cheryl Sanders
July 10, 2019

Former prime minister Sir John Major warned that if a senior diplomat was "thrown to the wolves" it would damage the relationship between an incoming prime minister and the civil service.

Mr Boris Johnson, the favourite to become the next United Kingdom prime minister, refused to commit to keeping Britain's ambassador to Washington in his role amid a diplomatic spat that saw US President Donald Trump calling the envoy "a pompous fool".

In an extraordinary intervention, Major, who nearly split the party himself in the 1990s over his pro-European stance, said it would be "utterly and totally unacceptable" for MPs to be sidelined.

John Major's comments follow a televised debate between Johnson and Jeremy Hunt, who are seeking to replace Prime Minister Theresa May.

He said parliament had not been suspended since King Charles I did so during the English Civil War. "So my answer is no".

In order to prorogue Parliament, shutting it down until the next state opening, a prime minister would have to ask the Queen to formally allow it.

"If that were happen".

Major said he believed a "queue of people" would challenge any prorogation in court.

In an extraordinary onslaught against an ally, Mr Trump used a Twitter post to attack the Prime Minister over Brexit, accusing her of ignoring his advice and "going her own foolish way".

Former ambassador to France Lord Ricketts echoed that view and added "I wish Boris Johnson could have brought himself to say the same".

Sir John, who is backing Mr Hunt for the Tory leadership, said: "There is no conceivable justification, wherever we are, in closing down Parliament to bypass its sovereignty".

The prorogue would suspend Parliament and prevent MPs from blocking plans to the leave the European Union on October 31 so the country will leave by default. While Hunt, the current foreign secretary, prompted laughter from the studio audience after saying of Johnson: "You ask him a question, he puts a smile on your face and you forget the question".

In parliament yesterday MPs voted 294-293 in favour of a bid to require ministers to give fortnightly updates on the situation in Northern Ireland.

"He should speak to his country, and Prime Minister May, about their failed Brexit negotiation, and not be upset with my criticism of how badly it was handled".

"If you decide that Parliament is an inconvenience, when in fact it is the place where democratic legitimacy lies in our constitution and therefore it's acceptable to get rid of it for a period because it might otherwise prevent you from doing something which Parliament would prevent, then it's the end of democracy", Grieve yesterday said.

Other reports by iNewsToday