‘Shame on you’: Thousands of protesters tell Johnson to stop ‘coup’

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Thousands of people in cities across the UK have taken part in protests against Boris Johnson’s plans to suspend parliament.

Demonstrators outside Downing Street shouted “shame on you” in chants aimed towards the prime minister as streets around government buildings in Westminster were brought to a standstill.

Shadow home secretary Diane Abbott told the crowds: “We cannot allow Boris Johnson to shut down parliament and to shut down the voice of ordinary British people.”

Anti-PM protest
Image: Activists said they were ‘defending democracy’

A number of activists blocked Waterloo Bridge, shouting “stop the coup” and “our democracy and parliament is under attack”.

There have also been protests in Birmingham, Manchester, Newcastle, Liverpool, Glasgow, Swansea, Leeds, York, Belfast, Bristol and Aberdeen.

And there were demonstrations in towns including Bodmin in Cornwall and Clitheroe in Lancashire.

Left-wing campaign group Momentum has called on its members to “occupy bridges and blockade roads” in conjunction with unrest on the streets.

More from Brexit

The protests were triggered by the PM’s decision to suspend – or prorogue – parliament for up to five weeks ahead of the 31 October Brexit deadline.

Parliament will be prorogued in the week beginning 9 September until 14 October.

Mr Johnson’s opponents have claimed the move was aimed at reducing the debating time on Brexit and restricting MPs’ ability to block a no-deal Brexit.

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Asked if he was denying opposition MPs the time to stop a no-deal withdrawal from the European Union, the prime minister earlier this week said: “No, that is completely untrue.

“We are bringing forward a new legislative programme on crime, hospitals, making sure we have the education funding we need.”

He added there would be “ample time” for MPs to debate Brexit both before and after a “crucial” Brussels summit of EU leaders on 17 October.