Talks between PM and Tory Brexit rebels off

Crunch Brexit talks between Prime Minister Boris Johnson and senior Tory rebels have been cancelled.

As Mr Johnson faced a torrid week of expected Commons clashes over his EU withdrawal stance, a planned meeting on Monday with ex-justice secretary David Gauke and other Conservative critics was called off.

It then emerged that a proposed one-on-one meeting between the PM and former chancellor Philip Hammond would also not take place.

According to the Daily Mail, the PM scrapped talks because he is 'too busy'.

The developments came after Cabinet heavyweight Michael Gove refused to say if the Government would abide by legislation blocking a no-deal Brexit if it is forced through by Tory rebels and the opposition this week.

Pressed repeatedly on whether the Government would abide by a successful bid by Commons opponents to pass legislation preventing a no-deal withdrawal on October 31, Mr Gove told BBC One's The Andrew Marr Show: "Let's see what the legislation says.

"You're asking me about a pig in a poke.

"And I will wait to see what legislation the opposition may try to bring forward."

Mr Gove added: "For me, the most important thing is to bear in mind actually, we already have legislation in place which an overwhelming majority of MPs voted for.

"We already have an EU Withdrawal Act, we already have the notice on Article 50, the process by which we leave the EU."

Mr Johnson held a strategy meeting with party whips and senior aides on Sunday in preparation for a tough week ahead.

Opponents of no deal look set to try to seize control of the parliamentary agenda to push through legislation delaying Brexit beyond October 31.

Shadow Brexit secretary Sir Keir Starmer, who said he favoured legislation to prevent a no-deal scenario, branded Mr Gove's stance "breathtaking".

He tweeted: "For ministers not to confirm that this Government will accept and comply with legislation lawfully passed is breathtaking.

"The Prime Minister must make a statement on this straightaway.

"No Government is above the law."

Tory MP Guto Bebb said Mr Gove's comments were "a disgrace to our democracy".

The former minister added: "This Government's unprecedented willingness to flout the rules is a disgrace to our democracy.

"Not only are they suspending Parliament to try to force through a disastrous no-deal, but now they are suggesting that even if Parliament passed a law requiring the Government to avoid no-deal, they might simply ignore it.

"Our very democracy is now under threat from Boris Johnson and his Government."

Government sources suggested diary issues were to blame for the cancellation of the PM's meeting with Mr Gauke.

However, the move came after Mr Gauke appeared to indicate he was prepared to risk losing the party whip in order to oppose a no-deal exit from the EU.

He told Sky News: "Sometimes there is a point where... you have to judge between your own personal interests and the national interest.

"And the national interest has to come first.

"But, I hope it doesn't come to that, and I hope cooler and calmer heads will look at this and think that trying to split the Conservative Party in this way is not a sensible way forward for the Conservative Party, or indeed for the country."

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LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 31: An anti-Brexit sign is hung back up after previously getting removed in Westminster on August 31, 2019 in London, England. Left-wing group Momentum and the People's Assembly are coordinating a series of "Stop The Coup" protests across the UK aimed at Boris Johnson and the UK government proroguing Parliament. (Photo by Chris Furlong/Getty Images)
Protesters taking part in the 'Let Us Vote' day of action, organised by Another Europe is Possible campaign group in central London to demonstrate against Prime Minister Boris Johnson's decision to suspend Parliament for up to five weeks before a Queen's Speech on October 14. (Photo by Rick Findler/PA Images via Getty Images)
Thousands of demonstrators gather outside Downing Street on 31 August, 2019 in London, England to take part in Stop the Coup protests against the prorogation of the UK Parliament. Hundreds of thousands of people across major cities in the UK are expected to join protests against Boris Johnson's plans to suspend parliament for five weeks ahead of a Queens Speech on 14 October, which has limited the time available for MPs to legislate against a no-deal Brexit with the UK is set to leave the EU on the 31 October. (Photo by WIktor Szymanowicz/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
Thousands of demonstrators gather outside Downing Street on 31 August, 2019 in London, England to take part in Stop the Coup protests against the prorogation of the UK Parliament. Hundreds of thousands of people across major cities in the UK are expected to join protests against Boris Johnson's plans to suspend parliament for five weeks ahead of a Queens Speech on 14 October, which has limited the time available for MPs to legislate against a no-deal Brexit with the UK is set to leave the EU on the 31 October. (Photo by WIktor Szymanowicz/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
Thousands of demonstrators gather outside Downing Street on 31 August, 2019 in London, England to take part in Stop the Coup protests against the prorogation of the UK Parliament. Hundreds of thousands of people across major cities in the UK are expected to join protests against Boris Johnson's plans to suspend parliament for five weeks ahead of a Queens Speech on 14 October, which has limited the time available for MPs to legislate against a no-deal Brexit with the UK is set to leave the EU on the 31 October. (Photo by WIktor Szymanowicz/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
Thousands of demonstrators gather outside Downing Street on 31 August, 2019 in London, England to take part in Stop the Coup protests against the prorogation of the UK Parliament. Hundreds of thousands of people across major cities in the UK are expected to join protests against Boris Johnson's plans to suspend parliament for five weeks ahead of a Queens Speech on 14 October, which has limited the time available for MPs to legislate against a no-deal Brexit with the UK is set to leave the EU on the 31 October. (Photo by WIktor Szymanowicz/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
Protesters taking part in the 'Let Us Vote' day of action, organised by Another Europe is Possible campaign group in central London to demonstrate against Prime Minister Boris Johnson's decision to suspend Parliament for up to five weeks before a Queen's Speech on October 14. (Photo by Rick Findler/PA Images via Getty Images)
Thousands of demonstrators gather outside Downing Street on 31 August, 2019 in London, England to take part in Stop the Coup protests against the prorogation of the UK Parliament. Hundreds of thousands of people across major cities in the UK are expected to join protests against Boris Johnson's plans to suspend parliament for five weeks ahead of a Queens Speech on 14 October, which has limited the time available for MPs to legislate against a no-deal Brexit with the UK is set to leave the EU on the 31 October. (Photo by WIktor Szymanowicz/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
Thousands of demonstrators gather outside Downing Street on 31 August, 2019 in London, England to take part in Stop the Coup protests against the prorogation of the UK Parliament. Hundreds of thousands of people across major cities in the UK are expected to join protests against Boris Johnson's plans to suspend parliament for five weeks ahead of a Queens Speech on 14 October, which has limited the time available for MPs to legislate against a no-deal Brexit with the UK is set to leave the EU on the 31 October. (Photo by WIktor Szymanowicz/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
Thousands of protestors demostrate in Whitehall protesting at Prime Minister Boris Johnson suspension of parliament on 31st August 2019 in London, United Kingdom. His plan to prorogue parliament to block the chance of MPs voting to prevent a No Deal Brexit has prompted an angry backlash from the public, MPs from both opposition parties and the ruling Conservative Party. (Photo by Mike Abrahamns / In Pictures via Getty Images)
Protesters taking part in the 'Let Us Vote' day of action, organised by Another Europe is Possible campaign group in central London to demonstrate against Prime Minister Boris Johnson's decision to suspend Parliament for up to five weeks before a Queen's Speech on October 14. (Photo by Rick Findler/PA Images via Getty Images)
Thousands of protestors demostrate in Whitehall protesting at Prime Minister Boris Johnson suspension of parliament on 31st August 2019 in London, United Kingdom. His plan to prorogue parliament to block the chance of MPs voting to prevent a No Deal Brexit has prompted an angry backlash from the public, MPs from both opposition parties and the ruling Conservative Party. (photo by Jenny Matthews/In Pictures via Getty Images)
Thousands of demonstrators gather outside Downing Street on 31 August, 2019 in London, England to take part in Stop the Coup protests against the prorogation of the UK Parliament. Hundreds of thousands of people across major cities in the UK are expected to join protests against Boris Johnson's plans to suspend parliament for five weeks ahead of a Queens Speech on 14 October, which has limited the time available for MPs to legislate against a no-deal Brexit with the UK is set to leave the EU on the 31 October. (Photo by WIktor Szymanowicz/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
Thousands of demonstrators gather outside Downing Street on 31 August, 2019 in London, England to take part in Stop the Coup protests against the prorogation of the UK Parliament. Hundreds of thousands of people across major cities in the UK are expected to join protests against Boris Johnson's plans to suspend parliament for five weeks ahead of a Queens Speech on 14 October, which has limited the time available for MPs to legislate against a no-deal Brexit with the UK is set to leave the EU on the 31 October. (Photo by WIktor Szymanowicz/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
Thousands of demonstrators gather outside Downing Street on 31 August, 2019 in London, England to take part in Stop the Coup protests against the prorogation of the UK Parliament. Hundreds of thousands of people across major cities in the UK are expected to join protests against Boris Johnson's plans to suspend parliament for five weeks ahead of a Queens Speech on 14 October, which has limited the time available for MPs to legislate against a no-deal Brexit with the UK is set to leave the EU on the 31 October. (Photo by WIktor Szymanowicz/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
Thousands of demonstrators gather outside Downing Street on 31 August, 2019 in London, England to take part in Stop the Coup protests against the prorogation of the UK Parliament. Hundreds of thousands of people across major cities in the UK are expected to join protests against Boris Johnson's plans to suspend parliament for five weeks ahead of a Queens Speech on 14 October, which has limited the time available for MPs to legislate against a no-deal Brexit with the UK is set to leave the EU on the 31 October. (Photo by WIktor Szymanowicz/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
An anti-Brexit demonstrator whirls an EU and Union Flag during a demonstration against the British government's move to suspend parliament in the final weeks before Brexit outside Downing Street in London on August 31, 2019. - Demonstrations, being dubbed "Stop The Coup" by organisers, were to be held across Britain on August 31 against Prime Minister Boris Johnson's move to suspend parliament in the final weeks before Brexit. The protests come ahead of an intense political week in which Johnson's opponents will seek to block the move in court and legislate against a no-deal departure from the European Union. (Photo by Niklas HALLE'N / AFP) (Photo credit should read NIKLAS HALLE'N/AFP/Getty Images)
Thousands of demonstrators gather outside Downing Street on 31 August, 2019 in London, England to take part in Stop the Coup protests against the prorogation of the UK Parliament. Hundreds of thousands of people across major cities in the UK are expected to join protests against Boris Johnson's plans to suspend parliament for five weeks ahead of a Queens Speech on 14 October, which has limited the time available for MPs to legislate against a no-deal Brexit with the UK is set to leave the EU on the 31 October. (Photo by WIktor Szymanowicz/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
Thousands of demonstrators gather outside Downing Street on 31 August, 2019 in London, England to take part in Stop the Coup protests against the prorogation of the UK Parliament. Hundreds of thousands of people across major cities in the UK are expected to join protests against Boris Johnson's plans to suspend parliament for five weeks ahead of a Queens Speech on 14 October, which has limited the time available for MPs to legislate against a no-deal Brexit with the UK is set to leave the EU on the 31 October. (Photo by WIktor Szymanowicz/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
A demonstrator flies a Scottish Saltire EU composite flag during a protest against the British government's move to suspend parliament in the final weeks before Brexit in Glasgow on August 31, 2019. - Demonstrations, being dubbed "Stop The Coup" by organisers, were to be held across Britain on August 31 against Prime Minister Boris Johnson's move to suspend parliament in the final weeks before Brexit. The protests come ahead of an intense political week in which Johnson's opponents will seek to block the move in court and legislate against a no-deal departure from the European Union. (Photo by Andy Buchanan / AFP) (Photo credit should read ANDY BUCHANAN/AFP/Getty Images)
Protesters taking part in the 'Let Us Vote' day of action, organised by Another Europe is Possible campaign group in central London to demonstrate against Prime Minister Boris Johnson's decision to suspend Parliament for up to five weeks before a Queen's Speech on October 14. (Photo by Rick Findler/PA Images via Getty Images)
Thousands of demonstrators gather outside Downing Street on 31 August, 2019 in London, England to take part in Stop the Coup protests against the prorogation of the UK Parliament. Hundreds of thousands of people across major cities in the UK are expected to join protests against Boris Johnson's plans to suspend parliament for five weeks ahead of a Queens Speech on 14 October, which has limited the time available for MPs to legislate against a no-deal Brexit with the UK is set to leave the EU on the 31 October. (Photo by WIktor Szymanowicz/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
With a reference to the English Civil War which saw King Charles suspending parliament then eventual;ly being executed, pro-EU Remain protesters march to 'Stop the Coup' in Whitehall, near Downing Street, at the end of a week that saw Prime Minister Boris Johnson ask Queen Elizabeth for permission to suspend (prorogue) the British Parliament during the final stages of his Brexit negotiations with the European Union, in Brussels, on 31st August 2019, in Westminster, London, England. (Photo by Richard Baker / In Pictures via Getty Images)
Protesters taking part in the 'Let Us Vote' day of action, organised by Another Europe is Possible campaign group in central London to demonstrate against Prime Minister Boris Johnson's decision to suspend Parliament for up to five weeks before a Queen's Speech on October 14. (Photo by Gareth Fuller/PA Images via Getty Images)
Shadow Home Secretary Diane Abbott speaks to thousands of demonstrators gathered outside Downing Street on 31 August, 2019 in London, England to take part in Stop the Coup protests against the prorogation of the UK Parliament. Hundreds of thousands of people across major cities in the UK are expected to join protests against Boris Johnson's plans to suspend parliament for five weeks ahead of a Queens Speech on 14 October, which has limited the time available for MPs to legislate against a no-deal Brexit with the UK is set to leave the EU on the 31 October. (Photo by WIktor Szymanowicz/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
Activists protest against Brexit and the British Parliament suspension in front of Brandenburg Gate in Berlin, Germany August 31, 2019. REUTERS/Axel Schmidt
A protester speaks to police officers in York during a demonstration against Prime Minister Boris Johnson's decision to suspend Parliament for up to five weeks before a Queen's Speech on October 14. (Photo by Danny Lawson/PA Images via Getty Images)
Protesters taking part in the 'Let Us Vote' day of action, organised by Another Europe is Possible campaign group in central London to demonstrate against Prime Minister Boris Johnson's decision to suspend Parliament for up to five weeks before a Queen's Speech on October 14. (Photo by Gareth Fuller/PA Images via Getty Images)
Protesters in York take part in a demonstration against Prime Minister Boris Johnson's decision to suspend Parliament for up to five weeks before a Queen's Speech on October 14. (Photo by Danny Lawson/PA Images via Getty Images)
Protesters taking part in the 'Let Us Vote' day of action, organised by Another Europe is Possible campaign group in central London to demonstrate against Prime Minister Boris Johnson's decision to suspend Parliament for up to five weeks before a Queen's Speech on October 14. (Photo by Gareth Fuller/PA Images via Getty Images)
GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - AUGUST 31: Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn attends a campaign day at the Alive and Kicking Project building in Glasgow to speak about opposition against Boris Johnson and the UK government proroguing Parliament on August 31, 2019 in Glasgow, United Kingdom. Demonstrations and protests have already taken place and are planned across the country against Boris Johnson and a no-deal Brexit after the Prime Minister announced he would seek an extended suspension of Parliament ahead of a Queen’s speech on October 14. (Photo by Ian Forsyth/Getty Images)
Anti-Brexit protestors demonstrate at Whitehall in London, Britain, August 31, 2019. REUTERS/Peter Nicholls
Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson takes questions from young people aged 9-14 during an event inside 10 Downing Street in London on August 30, 2019 ahead of an education announcement. - British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on August 30 warned any attempt by MPs next week to stop Brexit or delay it beyond October 31 would do "lasting damage" to public trust in politics. (Photo by JEREMY SELWYN / POOL / AFP) (Photo credit should read JEREMY SELWYN/AFP/Getty Images)
French Minister of Public Action and Accounts Gerald Darmanin (C) shakes hands with Britain's Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster Michael Gove (L) in the northern French port of Calais on August 30, 2019. (Photo by DENIS CHARLET / AFP) (Photo credit should read DENIS CHARLET/AFP/Getty Images)
Pro-EU demonstrators outside the Court of Session in Edinburgh where Lord Doherty denied a bid by parliamentarians for an interim interdict through the Scottish legal system that would have prevented the UK Parliament being suspended.
Brexit protesters in Westminster, London.
A Brexit protester in Westminster, London.
Demonstrators gather outside Cabinet Office waving Union and EU flags to protest against the Parliament suspension, Central London on August 29, 2019. Parliament will be suspended just days after MPs return to work in September - and only a few weeks before the Brexit deadline. (Photo by Alberto Pezzali/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
Anti Brexit campaigner Gina Miller leaves Millbank in Westminster, London.
Leader of the Scottish Conservatives Ruth Davidson during a press conference at Holyrood Hotel in Edinburgh, following her announcement that she has resigned as leader of the Scottish Conservatives, saying holding the post had been the "privilege of my life".
British Steel union representatives show placards as Demonstrators gather outside Cabinet Office waving Union and EU flags to protest against the Parliament suspension, Central London on August 29, 2019. Parliament will be suspended just days after MPs return to work in September - and only a few weeks before the Brexit deadline. (Photo by Alberto Pezzali/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
Police attempt to move protestors from the streets around Parliament Square
Anti-Brexit activists hold Union and EU flags as they demonstrate opposite the Houses of Parliament in Westminster, London on August 29, 2019. - Prime Minister Boris Johnson's suspension of parliament weeks before Britain's EU departure date faced legal challenges on Thursday following a furious outcry from pro-Europeans and MPs opposed to a no-deal Brexit. (Photo by DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS / AFP) (Photo credit should read DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS/AFP/Getty Images)
Hundreds of people are seen protesting against Boris Johnson outside the houses of parliament on Westminster bridge
Hundreds of people are seen protesting against Boris Johnson outside the houses of parliament on Westminster bridge
A woman is seen with a flare on westminster bridge outside the houses of parliament where hundreds of people are seen protesting against Boris Johnson
Police prepare to control the protesters and clear traffic from Parliament Square where hundreds of people had gathered to protest against Boris Johnson
Kayden, 11, waves an EU flag and Union Jack in front of a line of police officers outside Downing Street, London, to demonstrate against Prime Minister Boris Johnson temporarily closing down the Commons from the second week of September until October 14 when there will be a Queen's Speech to open a new session of Parliament.
Shadow home secretary Diane Abbott addresses protesters outside the Houses of Parliament, London, to demonstrate against Prime Minister Boris Johnson temporarily closing down the Commons from the second week of September until October 14 when there will be a Queen's Speech to open a new session of Parliament.
Protestors from Another Europe is Possible outside the Houses of Parliament, London, to demonstrate against Prime Minister Boris Johnson temporarily closing down the Commons from the second week of September until October 14 when there will be a Queen's Speech to open a new session of Parliament.
On the day that British Prime Minister Boris Johnson sought to have Parliament suspended by Queen Elizabeth, days after MPs return to work in September - and only a few weeks before the Brexit deadline, Leave voters protest with their We Want Our Country Back banners opposite the Cabinet Office where daily Brexit contingency planning meetings take place, on 28th August 2019, in Whitehall, Westminster, London, England. (Photo by Richard Baker / In Pictures via Getty Images)
A man in a giant Boris Johnson 'head' digs a grave at the foot of a pretend tombstone outside Downing Street in London, Wednesday, Aug. 28, 2019. Britain's Queen Elizabeth II has approved the U.K. government's request to suspend Parliament amid a growing crisis over Brexit. Prime Minister Boris Johnson spoke to the queen on Wednesday to request an end to the current Parliament session in September.(AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)
Anti-Brexit supporters wave flags and hold signs near the Houses of Parliament in central London, Wednesday, Aug. 28, 2019. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson asked Queen Elizabeth II on Wednesday to suspend Parliament, throwing down the gauntlet to his critics and causing outrage among opposition leaders who will have even less time to thwart a no-deal Brexit. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)
The Houses of Parliament are seem, with a Union Jack flag in the foreground, in central London, Wednesday, Aug. 28, 2019. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson asked Queen Elizabeth II on Wednesday to suspend Parliament, throwing down the gauntlet to his critics and causing outrage among opposition leaders who will have even less time to thwart a no-deal Brexit. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)
A protestor with a mask of Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson demonstrates outside Downing Street in London, Wednesday, Aug. 28, 2019. Prime Minister Johnson has written to fellow lawmakers explaining his decision to ask Queen Elizabeth II to suspend Parliament as part of the government plans before the Brexit split from Europe. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)
Members of the anti-Briexit Our Future, Our Choice (OFOC) a youth movement supporting a People's Vote on the Brexit deal, demonstrate outside the gates to Downing Street in central London on August 28, 2019. - British Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced Wednesday that the suspension of parliament would be extended until October 14 -- just two weeks before the UK is set to leave the EU -- enraging anti-Brexit MPs. MPs will return to London later than in recent years, giving pro-EU lawmakers less time than expected to thwart Johnson's Brexit plans before Britain is due to leave the European Union on October 31. (Photo by DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS / AFP) (Photo credit should read DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS/AFP/Getty Images)
An demonstrator, wearing a mask depicting Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson, and a mock gravestone inscribed with the words "RIP British Democracy" protests outside the gates to Downing Street in central London on August 28, 2019. - British Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced Wednesday that the suspension of parliament would be extended until October 14 -- just two weeks before the UK is set to leave the EU -- enraging anti-Brexit MPs. MPs will return to London later than in recent years, giving pro-EU lawmakers less time than expected to thwart Johnson's Brexit plans before Britain is due to leave the European Union on October 31. (Photo by DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS / AFP) (Photo credit should read DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS/AFP/Getty Images)
Police outside the gates of Balmoral Castle where the Privy Council are expected to meet with Queen Elizabeth II following the request from Prime Minister Boris Johnson to end the current parliamentary session and hold the Queen's speech on Monday 14 October. (Photo by Andrew Milligan/PA Images via Getty Images)
A picture taken from the street looking through the open door of 11 Downing Street in central London on August 28, 2019 shows Britain's Chancellor of the Exchequer Sajid Javid (L) inside 11 Downing Street. - British Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced Wednesday that the suspension of parliament would be extended until October 14 -- just two weeks before the UK is set to leave the EU -- enraging anti-Brexit MPs. (Photo by DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS / AFP) (Photo credit should read DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS/AFP/Getty Images)
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Pressed on whether there would be shortages of fresh food as a result of a no-deal Brexit, Mr Gove said: "Everyone will have the food they need."

He added: "No, there will be no shortages of fresh food."

Asked if food prices would increase, Mr Gove said: "I think that there are a number of economic factors in play.

"Some prices may go up. Other prices will come down."

Asked if he planned to try to force through a Brexit extension beyond October 31, Mr Gauke said: "I think the detail will become very apparent in the next few days.

"But I think the important thing is that Parliament should not be excluded from this process.

"I don't believe that no deal has a mandate from the 2016 referendum. I don't think it has got the support of Parliament.

"And the problem is that if we don't act in this week, I think that it is likely that Parliament will be excluded from this process."

International Development Secretary Alok Sharma told Tory rebels to be "clear whose side you are on".

Shadow chancellor John McDonnell said the Prime Minister and Government are "insulting the intelligence of the British people" in their explanation for suspending Parliament for up to five weeks until mid-October.

Mr McDonnell described the Prime Minister as being "like a dictator".

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