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Support in Kent for petition against Boris plan to suspend parliament

More than 31,000 people across the county have signed a petition calling on the government to reverse its decision to shut down parliament.

And voters in Canterbury - the only Labour-held seat in Kent - emerge as the most supportive of the call for a U-turn, outstripping all other Kent parliamentary seats by some margin.

Analysis as Kent residents add names to national petition

Tunbridge Wells, the only area to vote "remain" in the 2016 referendum, was next closest.

Its MP Greg Clark, the former business minister, has joined critics of the suspension of parliament saying MPs should have more rather than less time to debate important issues.

The petition has seen more than 1.4 million sign in just 24 hours after Boris Johnson announced he was to prorogue parliament - leading to complaints he was trying to curb attempts by the opposition parties to block a no-deal Brexit.

MPs will have to debate petition demanding u-turn over suspension of Parliament
MPs will have to debate petition demanding u-turn over suspension of Parliament

The move has led to a furious political row, with the opposition parties accusing the Prime Minister of a breach of parliamentary convention.

Boris Johnson says the move to suspend sittings is designed to allow the government to set out its domestic legislative programme.

In the 2016 Brexit referendum voters in Tunbridge Wells backed remain by 55% to 45%.

Secretary of State Greg Clark
Secretary of State Greg Clark

But there has been less enthusiasm for the petition against suspending parliament in Kent's more Eurosceptic constituencies.

In South Thanet, where the former Ukip leader Nigel Farage stood to become MP in 2015 but was beaten by Conservative Craig Mackinlay, 1,923 people have signed, while even fewer - 1,380 - signed up in North Thanet.

Our analysis shows there is a mixed picture across Kent based on the totals for the 17 seats. The figures, as of 3pm Thursday, were:

Canterbury: 3,825

Tunbridge Wells: 3,188

Tonbridge and Malling: 2,462

Sevenoaks: 2,314

Folkestone: 2,070

Ashford: 1,984

Maidstone and The Weald: 1,944

Thanet South: 1,923

Faversham and Mid Kent: 1,908

Dover: 1,618

Rochester and Strood: 1,407

Thanet North: 1,380

Dartford: 1,198

Gravesham: 1,305

Gillingham: 1,052

Sittingbourne and Sheppey: 951

Chatham and Aylesford: 833

Under the rules on Parliamentary petitions, if more than 100,000 sign, MPs must arrange a debate on the topic.

To view the petition click here

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