SDLP: PM behaving like ‘tin-pot dictator’

The Prime Minister is behaving like a “tin-pot dictator” in suspending Parliament, nationalists in Northern Ireland have claimed.

Brexit opponents said democracy was being eroded.

However, DUP leader Arlene Foster welcomed a step which would end the longest parliamentary session since the Union of Scotland and England in 1707.

SDLP leader Colum Eastwood said: “Proroguing your parliament to enforce the will of a government that has no democratic legitimacy for an act that has no majority support is the behaviour of a tin-pot dictator.

“Boris Johnson has stepped far outside the acceptable norms for a functioning democracy and he must be reined in.”

Mrs Foster’s party has backed the Conservative leader’s measure, which critics believe is designed to prevent MPs from thwarting a no-deal Brexit at the end of October.

The terms of the DUP deal propping up the minority Conservative administration are to be reviewed before the new session of Parliament.

Northern Ireland voted Remain in the Brexit referendum.

Ulster Unionist leader Robin Swann said proroguing Parliament risked undermining public confidence in Westminster and creating more division.

He added: “We need to see an end to the plotting from both sides in Westminster and that replaced by politicians focused on getting a deal so that the United Kingdom leaves the EU in an orderly fashion.

“Otherwise the people of Northern Ireland will be caught in the middle.

“The incendiary language being used by some politicians across these islands needs to cease.”

Alliance Party leader Naomi Long said: “This is the desperate act of a man who knows Parliament opposes no-deal Brexit but will push it through regardless of parliamentary sovereignty.

“He has no mandate for this. None. Far from taking back control, democracy is being eroded.”

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