BORIS Johnson is planning to tell the Queen she cannot sack him as PM even if he loses a no confidence vote and MPs pick a caretaker replacement.
Senior No10 aides are preparing legal advice for the monarch to ensure Boris can stay on to try to deliver Brexit on October 31.
The extraordinary move is based on 70 year-old rules, dubbed the Lascelles Principles.
Downing Street officials believe the PM can seize on them to advise the monarch that asking him to step down from power would risk chaos and endanger the economy – two red lines she must do her all to avoid.
But the move risks dragging the 93 year-old monarch even deeper into Brexit’s political crisis after the prorogation controversy last month.
With talks on the verge of collapse last night, opposition MPs will now step up their bid to punish the PM for failing to strike an exit deal with the EU.
Labour has vowed to table a vote of no confidence to topple Mr Johnson as soon as a Brexit delay is in place – with Monday October 21 seen as the likely day for the Commons vote.
But a senior No10 source told The Sun: “Boris won’t resign even if he loses a no confidence vote, and it is not within the sovereign’s constitutional powers to make him.
“The Lascelles Principles make this clear. The PM will advise the Queen of that and she must follow her Prime Minister’s advice. That’s how this country works.”
The senior source added: “We said we will deliver Brexit by October 31 by all means necessary and we meant it”.
They principles were drawn up by the Queen’s first Private Secretary, Sir Alan Frederick Lascelles, in 1950 when he served her father, George VI.
They were originally designed as a code for monarchs to follow under which they are able to refuse a PM’s request to hold a general election in special circumstances before the Fixed Term Parliaments Act in 2011.
The Queen can decline a nationwide vote if three conditions are met:
- Parliament is still “vital, viable, and capable of doing its job”
- An election would be “detrimental to the national economy”
- And, if an alternative PM emerges and can govern “for a reasonable period with a working majority in the House of Commons”.
But No10 advisers now think the principles can be flipped and used as founding reasons why the Queen must also keep a serving PM in place.
“Tommy” Lascelles featured prominently as a character in the Netflix TV series hit about the monarch’s rule, The Crown.
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