DOZENS of people flocked to Southampton city centre to take part in the vigil for democracy held on Wednesday.

Members of the Southampton Liberal Democrats and some Labour councillors gathered in Guildhall Square to protest against the decision to suspend Parliament.

Richard Blackman, chairman of the Lib Dems in the city, said they wanted to express their dismay over the Prime Minister’s decision to suspend Parliament between September and October.

Critics, including Commons Speaker John Bercow, called the move a “constitutional outrage”, designed to stop MPs from intervening as the UK heads towards a no-deal Brexit on October 31.

The decision sparked protests across the country which were dismissed as “phoney” by Commons Leader Jacob Rees-Mogg.

But Mr Blackman said Lib Dems in Southampton wanted to express their dismay as they were concerned about the decision taken, fearing it will leave the country in a “very dangerous place”.

“We decided that a vigil for democracy would be the best way to express our feelings on what was happening. We are extremely worried, the country is in a very dangerous position as a result of the prorogation. We need to defend our democracy,”he said.

He hopes opposition parties will find a way forward next week to stop a no-deal Brexit.

He said parties in Southampton should also come together to represent the city and decide the best step forward.

“I’m planning to get in touch with other people in other parties. This has all come quite quickly,” he added.

Jacob Rees-Mogg said the move was not intended to limit the time available for MPs to debate Brexit, but will allow the Government to tackle other issues.

“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.”

Meanwhile, an online petition calling for the Government not to suspend Parliament has gathered more than one million signatures.

The e-petition on Parliament’s website gained 100,000 signatures in just a few hours, the threshold it needed for it to be debated by MPs. On Wednesday thousands of people protested against the plans to suspend Parliament, with rallies in London, Edinburgh and other cities within hours of Prime Minister Boris Johnson announcing the decision.