Ken Clarke would vote down government and be caretaker PM 'if sensible people think it's a sensible idea'

Tory grandee Ken Clarke has said he would volunteer himself as leader of a caretaker government in order to stop a no-deal Brexit and he would vote against Boris Johnson in a vote of no confidence.

The Father of the House, who has been touted as a potential temporary prime minister, told ITV News Political Correspondent Paul Brand he would lead the anti-no-deal administration if "if sensible people thought that was a sensible idea".

He claimed the suggestion was silly but said he would do it, "if it was necessary to get us to a more sensible outcome of the present crisis".

He labelled Mr Johnson's decision to suspend Parliament as "extraordinary" and said he'd vote down the government in a vote of no confidence if it is the only way to stop the "disaster of a no-deal Brexit".

However he said the best way to block no deal is through legislation, a route he believes has a "chance" of succeeding.

He said: "I personally think it is possible, yes, I think it could well happen - genuinely."

He said the biggest challenge to succeeding is "organising this cross-party consensus that we've failed to achieve so far, and also maintaining the courage of all those MPs who want to defy the party whip."

Boris Johnson's move to suspend Parliament has divided opinion. Credit: PA

His comments come as Prime Minister Johnson's plan to suspend Parliament faces three legal challenges in London, Edinburgh and Belfast.

A cross-party group of around 70 MPs and peers are backing the action at the Court of Session in Edinburgh.

And in response to an urgent application for a judicial review in London's High Court, a spokeswoman said: "The defendant is the Prime Minister. The application is being considered."

The legal bid in Belfast to injunct Boris Johnson's move was adjourned for 24 hours after being launched by prominent victims campaigner Raymond McCord, who was also already pursing legal proceedings against the potential proroguing of Parliament.

Meanwhile, around 1.5 million people have also signed a petition calling on Mr Johnson not to suspend Parliament.

The petition has been rapidly gaining signatures. Credit:

On the other hand Leader of the House of Commons Jacob Rees-Mogg described the outrage at the suspension of Parliament as “phoney”.

The leading Brexiteer and Johnson ally also hit back at Commons Speaker John Bercow’s intervention on the decision to prorogue Parliament, saying it was “not constitutional” for him to speak out in such a way.

Mr Rees-Mogg insisted the move to prorogue Parliament for almost five weeks was not undemocratic and "fully in line with the constitution".

His comments came amid the resignation of Scottish Tories leader Ruth Davidson, who demanded the PM strike a deal with the EU as she quit.

And, Lord Young, the government whip in the Lords, also quit, saying: “I am very unhappy at the timing and length of the prorogation", adding that it risks "undermining the fundamental role of Parliament”.

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But Mr Rees-Mogg said: “I think the outrage is phoney and it is created by people who don’t want us to leave the European Union and are trying very hard to overturn the referendum result and don’t want the benefits of leaving the European Union.”

He added: “Parliament wasn’t going to be sitting for most of this time anyway. This is completely constitutional and proper.”