HEXHAM'S MP Guy Opperman has backed the prime minister's controversial move to prorogue parliament.

The Queen accepted Boris Johnson's request to end the current parliamentary session last Wednesday, meaning parliament will be closed for 23 working days.

The suspension will run from any day between September 9 and 12 until the Queen’s Speech on October 14.

Critics have claimed that Mr Johnson is using the prorogation of parliament to stifle debate over Brexit, with MPs having an estimated six days to debate a no-deal exit on October 31.

If parliament is not prorogued, MPs would have 22 days in parliament to discuss the issue.

As well as the timing, the length of time parliament would be prorogued has also been criticised. At five weeks, it would be the longest prorogation in more than 40 years.

However, the government argued that it was standard procedure to prorogue parliament. Mr Opperman pointed out that a new Queen's speech was long overdue.

He said: "‘For too long the deadlock in Parliament has taken the focus away from key domestic issues.

"I am delighted that Boris Johnson has set out such a bold policy agenda for more police on our streets to tackle violent crime, levelled up school funding, and that the NHS continues to secure the extra £20bn it has been promised by this Conservative Government.

"We are long overdue a Queen's Speech. This particular session of Parliament has lasted nearly two and a quarter years – effectively the longest since the English Civil War. It is right that the new prime minister sets out his domestic agenda.

"There is ample time for Labour, or other parties, to seek to continue to block Brexit or to introduce a vote of no confidence if they wish to do so.

"They could do this next Tuesday, when the House of Commons sits again."

Mr Opperman added that he had voted for Theresa May's deal three times (Mr Johnson voted against it twice) and he blamed Labour and other opposition parties for blocking the deal, adding that the referendum result needed to be respected.

Mr Johnson called a cabinet meeting at five o-clock on Monday, after which he was set to address Tory MPs at a garden party.