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Live Reporting

Kate Whannel, Alice Evans, George Bowden and Paul Seddon

All times stated are UK

  1. Recap: What happened today?

    Houses of Parliament
    • Prime Minister Boris Johnson set in motion the process to suspend the UK Parliament - which limits the time MPs have to block a no-deal Brexit
    • The suspension - also called prorogation - will happen no earlier than 9 September and no later than 12 September
    • The new parliamentary session will begin on 14 October
    • The UK is set to leave the EU on 31 October with, or without a deal
    • Mr Johnson said suggestions the suspension was motivated by a desire to force through a no deal were "completely untrue"
    • His decision was criticised by Speaker John Bercow who said it was a "constitutional outrage"
    • Jeremy Corbyn called the move "a smash and grab" on democracy and promised to bring forward legislation "to prevent what [the PM] is doing", followed by a vote of no confidence "at some point"
    • Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said "it is not democracy, it’s dictatorship" and Lib Dem leader Jo Swinson said it was "a dangerous and unacceptable course"
    • But Leader of the House Jacob Rees-Mogg said the move was a "completely proper constitutional procedure"
    • MPs return from recess on 3 September
  2. Who is Ruth Davidson?

    Ruth Davidson

    Ruth Davidson became leader of the Scottish Conservatives in 2011.

    She became one of the leading voices in the Remain campaign in the 2016 EU referendum when she repeatedly clashed with Boris Johnson in a TV debate.

    In the 2017 election Ms Davidson led the Scottish Conservatives to their best result in a Westminster election since 1983.

    Without her Scottish Tories gaining 12 seats north of the border on 8 June, Theresa May would not have been able to form a government.

    She did not support Boris Johnson in this year's Conservative leadership race, backing instead Sajid Javid and then Jeremy Hunt.

    After Mr Johnson won the contest, Ms Davidson said she would "judge his premiership by his actions in office".

    However she has previously made her opposition to a no-deal Brexit clear writing in the Scottish Mail on Sunday that she would not support such a move.

  3. Davidson quitting 'would not be a surprise' for SNP

    BBC Radio 5 Live

    The SNP's Europe spokesman at Westminster has said he is not surprised to hear Ruth Davidson might quit as leader of the Scottish Conservatives.

    MP Stephen Gethins said: "We don't know if it's true yet, but if it is I wouldn't be surprised."

    "I think anybody who believes in democracy will think that this is a dark day," he told 5 Live.

    Mr Gethins, whose party opposes a no-deal Brexit, said a prorogation would impact everybody - "whether you believe in Brexit or not".

  4. Hammond: Parliament shutdown 'profoundly undemocratic'

    Philip Hammond

    Former Chancellor Philip Hammond says the decision by Boris Johnson to suspend Parliament is "profoundly undemocratic" at a "time of national crisis like this".

    He says a number of MPs would have preferred to give the PM more time to see if he can get changes to the Brexit deal, before moving to prevent a no-deal in "late September".

    "That will now not be possible and we will have to try to do something when Parliament returns next week," he tells reporters.

    He adds that he has "made clear I am not interested in bringing down the government", but he wants ministers to "recognise" the majority in Parliament is against a no-deal Brexit.

  5. 'A huge blow to the union'

    Responding to the news that Ruth Davidson is expected to quit as leader of the Scottish Conservatives, Tory MP Tom Tugendhat says: "This is a major blow to the union."

    "Ruth Davidson has changed the story in our country and made a huge difference to our nation," he tweets.

  6. Tory MP: 'What's the excitement all about?'

    BBC Radio 5 Live

    Steve Double

    Tory MP Steve Double defends Boris Johnson's move to suspend Parliament and says he does not know what "the excitement is all about".

    "He isn't suspending Parliament for four weeks - we were going to be in recess for three weeks of that period anyway," he said.

    "We will only be losing four days during September and October. I don't know what MPs think would have been achieved in those four days that they haven't been able to achieve in the last two or three years with regard to Brexit," he told 5 Live.

    "Boris has laid out over the last few weeks a very clear domestic agenda for the country to increase police numbers, to raise funding for education, to make sure that our NHS is funded and operating properly," Mr Double said.

    "It's absoutely right that he lays this before Parliament in a Queen's Speech."

    In BBC political editor Laura Kuenssberg's analysis of Wednesday's drama, she said: "It's only a matter of days, but those are days that might matter enormously."

  7. Ruth Davidson considering her position

    BBC Scotland correspondent tweets...

    View more on twitter

    Ruth Davidson is the leader of the Scottish Conservatives and was a campaigner for Remain during the EU referendum.

  8. Emergency Brexitcast episode arrives

    The Brexitcast team has assembled to analyse the day's events, which came as suddenly to them as the rest of us.

    "I was still on holiday and very late last night my phone rang... I messaged them 'can it wait 'till the morning, because I'm still away' and they text back saying 'no, you need to call me'," the BBC's political editor Laura Kuenssberg says.

    Listen to Laura, Katya Adler and Adam Fleming on what it all means for Brexit.

    View more on twitter
  9. Downing Street 'plans extreme measures' - Buzzfeed


    Buzzfeed News reports that senior Downing Street officials have considered a series of "extreme measures" to distract parliament and "force through" Brexit on Halloween.

    The website's Alex Wickham says No 10 has even explored the creation of "new bank holidays to prevent the House of Commons from being recalled" during its suspension.

    “Every sitting day there is a risk of something going wrong,” a government source told Buzzfeed.

  10. 'Tinpot dictatorship territory' - SNP MP

    BBC News Channel

    Stephen Gethins

    SNP Europe spokesman Stephen Gethins says the request to suspend Parliament means Prime Minister Boris Johnson has "moved into tinpot dictatorship territory".

    He says he sees the move as an attempt to "force a no-deal Brexit", for which he says there is "no mandate".

    He adds that "all sorts of legislation" needs to be in place for the UK to leave the EU, which would require Parliament to remain open.

    "What is clear from this action is that he knows he doesn't have the support in Parliament," he adds.

  11. Anti-prorogation protests across the UK

    Protest at Downing Street

    Protesters are coming together in response to the prime minister's decision to suspend Parliament.

    Photos show a crowd of people at Downing Street in central London - including one person dressed as Boris Johnson digging a grave with the headstone "RIP British Democracy".

    Impromptu events organised on social media are also expected to take place in Manchester and Edinburgh this evening.

  12. Opposition spinning 'political hyperbole'

    Damian Collins

    Conservative MP Damian Collins has defended the prime minister's decision to prorogue Parliament, arguing that it "doesn't mean there can't be a full debate on Brexit".

    He accuses opposition politicians of spinning "political hyperbole".

    "If they want to pass a motion through the House making a no-deal Brexit possible they can do that as an amendment to the Queen’s Speech," he says.

    "Throughout this entire Brexit process the one thing we have not been short of time on is open-ended parliamentary debate."

  13. Plaid leader: Brexit presents 'trinity of crises'

    Boris Johnson’s Brexit policy is to “disembowel Parliament” and silence critical voices, the leader of Plaid Cymru says.

    Adam Price quoted Conservative figures who described the suspension of Parliament as a “constitutional crisis”.

    Video content

    Video caption: Plaid Cymru's Adam Price on suspending Parliament
  14. Standing orders for Privy Council members...

    Queen Elizabeth II

    The request from ministers to the Queen to prorogue Parliament was made earlier today at a meeting of the Privy Council - a body which meets on average about once a month.

    The role of this body is usually rather routine, and mostly concerned with obtaining the monarch's formal approval for certain orders approved by ministers.

    One slightly unusual feature of Privy Council meetings is that they are held with all the participants - including the monarch - standing up.

    According to the body's official website, it is thought that this custom was initiated by Queen Victoria in an effort to reduce her public duties after her husband Prince Albert died.

  15. Pienaar: Johnson beginning to 'win the Brexit battle'


    BBC Radio 5 Live

    John Pienaar, the BBC's deputy political editor, said today we're seeing Boris Johnson beginning to "not just win the battle of Brexit, but win the argument that will surround it".

    The prime minister said a Queen's Speech would take place after the suspension of Parliament, on 14 October, to outline his "very exciting agenda" - and that the announcement was nothing to do with Brexit.

    "If you wholly and unquestionably believe that, you will wholly and unquestionably believe anything," John Pienaar said on 5 Live.

  16. Irish foreign minister: Johnson is 'wiping slate clean'

    Simon Coveney

    Simon Coveney, the Irish foreign minister, accused Boris Johnson's government of "wiping the slate clean" on the Irish backstop issue by opting to prorogue Parliament.

    Speaking at an event in Paris, he said: "The disruptive impact of Britain leaving the European Union has a huge impact on the island of Ireland. We have a shared responsiblity with the British government to protect the peace process."

    However, he added: "I’ve always been careful not to get involved in the parlimentary business of Westminster. They have a sovereign parliament and have to make difficult decisions and choices."

  17. 'A very British coup'

    John McDonnell

    Shadow chancellor John McDonnell has called the move to suspend parliament a "very British coup" with the objective of "preventing democracy working".

    Mr McDonnell accused Boris Johnson of "imposing a policy" by preventing "parliamentary debate and discussion".

    A Very British Coup is the title of Chris Mullin's novel in which a left-wing leader of the Labour Party becomes prime minister and is targeted by a conspiracy between civil servants, MI5, the CIA and the media.

    Chris Mullin was the Labour MP for Sunderland South from 1987-2010.

  18. Is 'disappointment' with the Queen misplaced?

    View more on twitter

    Stand-up comic Jenny Eclair seemed to speak for many when she tweeted her disappointment in the Queen. (Of course, it's possible she was joking...)

    But - to make a serious point - as our Royal Correspondent Jonny Dymond writes, it would have been impossible for the Queen to turn down the prime minister's request to suspend Parliament.

    "The Queen acts on the advice of her prime minister," he said.

    "While many, many people may be upset that Parliament is not going to sit at such time, precedent is on the side of those making this decision.

    "The idea is these things are settled in the Palace of Westminster, not Buckingham Palace.

    "The Queen had very little wriggle room to make any kind of political decision."

    Read other expert responses to your top questions today.