Opinion’ Craig Mackinlay MP: Conference recess is cut short

Craig Mackinlay

The usual Conference season recess of three and a bit weeks was brought to an abrupt halt  following the Supreme Court judgement that the prorogation of Parliament was unlawful. Prorogation and recess are of course different beasts, but whichever way one might cut it, it is entirely usual that Parliament does not sit from the end of the second week in September returning on the second week in October.

It has done this for 80 years for conference season. It is also quite normal for a further period for a Queen’s Speech to be prepared. Call it prorogation or recess plus, it amounts to much the same. I won’t try to explain the deficiencies of the decision of the 11 Supreme Court Justices in this brief article, but this goes to the heart of our constitutional arrangements. For those who are pleased that Boris Johnson’s new government has been given a bloody nose, allowing judicial intervention into political decisions is truly dangerous ground that will never end well.

Governments of either flavour should have the right to exercise executive powers: it is then up to the electorate to weigh up those decisions taken at election time. From a legal point of view it was interesting that the reference legislation cited in the judgement was the Bill of Rights of 1689; amazing how truly historic legislation echoes through the ages.

The truly bizarre aspect of this labyrinth laid out is that the opposition can, at any time, call for a vote of no confidence in the government, or support a move for a general election. They have chosen neither and we remain in deadlock with a zombie Parliament incapable of deciding on anything. We returned to Westminster last week for two days of non-debate, listening to the same words from the same people that we’ve been hearing for the last 3 years as the tone hit fever pitch in their attempts to stop Brexit.

To add to the truly spiteful and vindictive nature of the current political scene, the opposition parties, who had already enjoyed their own planned annual conferences, have denied my Party the same normal annual event. Myself and colleagues remain stuck at Westminster in case of more on-the-hoof shenanigans.

The most uplifting event recently was being able to address a full house of constituents at St Peter’s Church hall, Broadstairs with the subject of Brexit. This follows a similar event some weeks ago in Sandwich. The message from residents was clear – ‘please just get on with it’. I couldn’t agree more. The contrast between our desire to deliver on the referendum and get on with the normal functioning of government promoting policies that matter to the lives of the electorate and the obstructive behaviour of others couldn’t be more stark.


  1. Disingenuous Mr. Mackinley. There is a huge difference between recess and prorogation. The former is a break in the session. The latter brings about a new agenda for the Government. Another example of the duplicity of Brexiteers and politicians who think the voting public lack the IQ to understand obfuscation

  2. I am no Tory but I agree with Craig Mackinley on this subject. Those saboteurs in parliament deciding that they want to destroy out democracy is outragous and totally against the will of the land.

  3. Mackinlay’s report is rubbish. The Conservative Conference was due to end on the Monday and parliament returned on the Tuesday, so they lost no more than the others. In fact it was Labour which lost its last day as the Leader’s speech was brought forward by one day. It’s Johnson’s government which is undemocratic in every way, too many to list here, and it’s now going to put a measure in the Queen’s speech to require everyone to bring their passport or driving licence to the polling station to prove they are eligible to vote. What about your elderly constituents who don’t drive, Mr Mackinlay? They won’t be able to vote for you, and poor people who don’t have passports… well, they won’t vote for you either. Your government deserved to lose control of Parliament and has shown that it’s unfit to govern.

  4. On the one hand , you have 11 of the most senior, learned, experienced and knowledgable lawyers in the land; on the other you have Craig Mackinley, the MP who “forgot” he ran an airline company when giving a pro-Manston speech in the HoC, the man whose election campaign was tainted by illegal activity.
    I know where I put my trust.
    Many pro-Brexit people talk about our Sovereignty. What the law lords said was that our Parliament is Sovereign, not Boris Johnson.
    It’s quite obvious that Johnson proroged Parliament to stop debate.

  5. Au contraire, Craig. Parliament is Not trying to stop Brexit ; it’s trying to make sure the UK doesn’t commit economic suicide.

  6. Dear Craig,
    if you read this and I expect you won’t because you live and work in an echo chamber where only your own views and those who agree with you have any validity.
    My evidence for this is your final comments ‘The most uplifting event recently was being able to address a full house of constituents at St Peter’s Church hall, Broadstairs with the subject of Brexit. This follows a similar event some weeks ago in Sandwich’.
    This says it all Sandwich population 5,000 and Broadstairs population 23,000. Most of your constituents,Craig, live in Ramsgate population 43,000. what about them and their views? What about the lack of investment,deprivation,lack of amenities and the run down nature of much of the public realm?
    Patriotism is about love of country, not about seeking enemies, disrespecting the constitution, the law and every institution that might question your spartan shibboleths.
    You are a small man Craig, in every way, and being small minded, you avoid facing the big questions of the day.

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