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Sir John Major has threatened to block Boris's Brexit plans

Sir John Major has threatened to block Boris's Brexit plans

The former One Nation Tory leadership hopeful was forced to deny he was a "sellout" for continuing to support Boris Johnson despite his refusal to rule out proroguing Parliament in a bid to deliver Brexit by October 31.

Eton College can already boast 19 prime ministers and Mr Johnson is the favourite to win the Tory leadership contest to become the 20th.

"The idea of proroguing parliament is utterly and totally unacceptable from any British parliamentarian or democrat", said Major, who is backing Johnson's rival Jeremy Hunt for the leadership but said he was speaking in a personal capacity. However, Johnson's team had ensured that their only on-air encounter took place after postal ballots had been sent out to party members to avoid any slip-ups from their gaffe-prone candidate.

Mr Johnson said: "I believe in Brexit and campaigned for it".

"When that has happened in the past, when Parliament has been shut down against its will, we actually had a civil war", Mr Hunt said.

"So I think he's a victor. So my answer is no".

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If he was to do so, Sir John told the BBC that the move would leave the Queen with no other choice but to provoke a constitutional crisis in one of the world's oldest and most stable democracies.

In order to prorogue Parliament, shutting it down until the next state opening, a prime minister would have to ask the Queen to formally allow it.

"If her first minister asks for that permission, it is nearly inconceivable that the queen will do anything other than grant it", Sir John said. "She is then in the midst of a constitutional controversy that no serious politician should put the queen in the middle of", Major stressed.

He was challenged over the timing of his decision to close down Parliament ahead of the 1997 general election, which prevented a report on the cash for questions scandal being considered by MPs.

In a fiesty 10 minute confrontation with presenters Piers Morgan and Susanna Reid, the bumbling cabinet minister said he was being "diplomatic" in his answers, adding: "It's really, really straightforward - which is that I think Sir Kim is terrific and at the same time, we also have to reset what's become a hard relationship".

The UK was meant to leave the European Union on March 29, but the date was extended until October 31 after Prime Minister Theresa May's withdrawal agreement was defeated three times in parliament.