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Tonbridge and Malling MP Tom Tugendhat says claims parliament is ignoring Brexit vote are 'completely absurd'

A Kent MP has described claims parliament is ignoring what people voted for in the EU referendum as “rubbish” and “completely absurd.”

Tonbridge and Malling MP Tom Tugendhat said that there was not one single will of the people and MPs had to reflect “hundreds of different views.”

Tonbridge and Malling MP Tom Tugendhat
Tonbridge and Malling MP Tom Tugendhat

His comments were made before dozens of marches at the weekend by protestors opposed to the suspension of Parliament.

MPs will return to Westminster this week amid growing acrimony between remain supporters and Brexiteers. Opposition parties are expected to try and push through legislation that would block a no-deal Brexit after the Prime Minister announced that Parliament was to be shut down for several weeks so the government could set out its domestic legislative agenda later in October.

Mr Tugendhat, in an interview on the latest edition of KMTV’s Paul On Politics, said: “The point about democracy is that you don't have one will of the people. We are not some kind of dictatorial state where there is one will, one kingdom and one state. There are 650 MPs representing hundreds of different views. We recognise there is not one will of the people; there are many people with many wills and the point of democracy is that we sit down and discuss things. I don't buy the [will of] the people rubbish, it is completely absurd.”

But Alan Jarrett, the Conservative leader of Medway Council defended Boris Johnson's approach. Speaking on the same programme, he said: “His response to people trying to stop Brexit is absolutely right - there is a lot of hysteria about this... it is only about four days that will be lost.

"Democracy works best when Parliament obeys the will of the people and that is what MPs should be doing. We are not talking about one view... we are talking about a once in a generation vote which all sides of the chamber promised to honour.”

Medway Council leader Alan Jarrett
Medway Council leader Alan Jarrett

Dartford councillor Laura Edie (Labour) - on the same programme - said: “I do think that it is an affront to democracy. On the one hand Boris Johnson is saying he's putting the will of the people first; but is shutting down Parliament completely. To prevent MPs from scrutinising the government isshocking.”

Ashford Green councillor Steve Campkin echoed: “Democracy works when you have an opposition that is scrutinising the government and that is open and public.shutting down Parliament removes that scrutiny and he can do what he likes.”

The political showdown over Brexit is expected to take place on Wednesday, when opposition MPs will try to take control of the parliamentary agenda in order to try and push through legislation blocking a no-deal departure from the EU.

The pair appeared on Friday's Paul on Politics

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