Attorney General Geoffrey Cox launched a furious rant at MPs as parliament was recalled after the UK’s highest court ruled that Boris Johnson’s suspension of it was illegal.
Cox was being questioned by MPs on the legal advice Johnson gave The Queen on the suspension of parliament.
He provoked ire when he said: “This parliament is a dead parliament, it has no moral right to sit on these green benches.”
He said the government had no majority, MPs have blocked a Brexit deal three times and that the opposition had voted twice to block a general election.
“This parliament is a disgrace… But the time is coming, Mr Speaker, when even these turkeys won’t be able to delay Christmas.”
After jeers, Cox continued: “They blocked 17.4 million people’s votes, this parliament is a disgrace. They could vote no confidence at any time but they are too cowardly”
He called opposition MPs, a “spineless gang” who “don’t like to hear the truth.
“This parliament should have the courage to face the electorate but they won’t because so many of them is about preventing us from leaving the EU at all,” he said.
Cox then slammed Labour, saying: “The time is coming when even these turkeys won’t be able to prevent Christmas.”
Labour MP Barry Sheerman lashed back at Cox, saying he had come to parliament feeling sorry for the attorney general but that he had shown “no shame” about the government’s “manipulation” of parliament.
“To come here with his barrister’s bluster, to obfuscate the truth, and for a man like him for a party like this and for a leader like this to talk about morals and morality, is a disgrace”.