UK MPs vote to force gov't to release messages over parliament suspension, no-deal Brexit papers

Source: Xinhua| 2019-09-10 03:36:45|Editor: yan
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LONDON, Sept. 9 (Xinhua) -- British government officials will be forced to hand over reams of private and personal communications after MPs voted to back a motion Monday night.

Put forward by the former attorney general and ex-Tory MP Dominic Grieve, the motion, approved by 311 votes to 302, demands all written and electronic contact about the temporary suspension of Parliament and Operation Yellowhammer documents since July 23 to be released.

Grieve used the parliamentary device of a humble address to the Queen to ask for the documents to be put before the Commons by ministers by no later than 11 p.m. on Wednesday.

Under parliamentary rules, the government is obliged to release the documents.

Grieve said there were suspicions that Parliament was being suspended to stop the legislature from debating the risks of leaving the EU without a withdrawal agreement.

A government spokesperson reacts to the defeat forcing the government to publish documents and messages about its no-deal planning, Sky News reported.

"The Government is committed to sharing appropriate information with parliament, but we must balance this obligation with the broader public interest, our legal duties and the assurance that ministers can receive full and frank advice that will remain confidential," said the spokesperson.

"The scope of the information requested in the humble address is disproportionate and unprecedented. We will consider the implications of this vote and respond in due course."

It includes messages sent via the WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, Telegram and Signal apps, by text or iMessage and from "private email accounts both encrypted and unencrypted."

The British parliament will be prorogued at the close of business on Monday night until Oct. 14.

The move came after Prime Minister Boris Johnson requested the Queen to allow such a suspension, from a date this week until Oct. 14.