Boris Johnson braces for last-minute clashes with Lords 36 hours before local elections

The Prime Minister is hoping to ask the Queen to adjourn Parliament this Thursday as he fights to save his position as Prime Minister from Partygate. But six controversial laws were still tangled up today – and fighting could drag on into next week

Boris Johnson is still struggling to get six divisive bills through the Lords
Boris Johnson is still struggling to get six divisive bills through the Lords

Boris Johnson could force MPs to fight up to 36 hours before local elections to pass a chaotic backlog of controversial legislation.

Fighting to survive because of Partygate, the PM will fail to pass a third of some 30 bills he promised in the Queen’s Speech last year.

These include hotly contested laws on online safety, planning and freedom of expression at universities – which will now only come into force in the next parliamentary year.

Another six laws are still embroiled in battles with the Lords days before parliamentary prorogations – which would wipe them out.

These include targeting poorer and northern residents with higher care costs, banning loud protests and criminalizing canal dinghy refugees.

Parliament was due to prorogue on Thursday, but sources are braced for an all-night battle – or even moving on after the bank holiday weekend.

A government spokeswoman confirmed to the Mirror: “Parliament could sit until next Tuesday to ensure all government business is settled.”

The Citizenship and Borders Act will criminalize people arriving in canal boats


(Getty Images)

Lords Whips even warned colleagues they would have to be seated on Wednesday, the day before polling stations open at 7am on Thursday.

A source claimed some colleagues were spotted serving alcohol as they struggled through recent late-night meetings.

The Prime Minister had a clear week ahead of the May 5 election – and a fresh start to his struggling role as Prime Minister with the new Queen’s speech on May 10.

Two weeks away would also have helped reassure the leadership conspirators as MPs are not in Westminster.

But a Lords source said the Government is still hitting a “brick wall” with the Nationality and Borders Bill and predicted it would “go to leadership”.

A source said the government is still hitting a “wall”.


(Getty Images)

It has already been repelled by the Lords three times. Colleagues voted again tonight to block plans to criminalize refugees arriving by boat, water down the “offshoring” of asylum seekers and give them the right to work after waiting six months for a Home Office decision have waited.

Peers also hit out at “disgusting” plans under the electoral law to give the government more control over the election watchdog.

Naomi Smith, CEO of Better Democracy Action Group Best for Britain, said: “Taking responsibility for the current independent election monitoring from the Government is like trusting a fox with the chicken coop. It is a brazen attempt by this government to gain an unfair advantage over opposition parties.”

The laws are two of six that used to be in the ‘ping pong’ today, with Commons and Lords wrestling back and forth over final disagreements.

The other four are the Police Act, which criminalizes loud protests; the Health and Care Act, which forces poorer residents to pay more before they hit a £86,000 ceiling on care costs; the Building Safety Bill and the Judicial Review and Courts Bill.

The Prime Minister’s official spokesman defended the situation, saying there were “unique challenges facing this parliamentary session, war in Europe is a good example”.

Boris Johnson also introduces a crackdown on electoral rules


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But a source told i News the delays were “insane,” adding: “Right now, they’re just really worried about alienating a wing of the parliamentary party.”

Of just over 30 bills promised in the Queen’s Speech last year, 11 are said to have passed, four more are close to royal assent and six are bound in the Lords.

The Planning Bill was promised last year but never released as plans to split towns into development zones were dropped due to Tory opposition.

And five of the failed laws — on online safety, free speech in universities, animal welfare, high-speed trains and telecoms — started a process this year but will be “carried over” after the time has elapsed.

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