John Bercow has insisted he will fight any attempt to suspend parliament in the run-up to Brexit with every breath in his body.

The Speaker of the House of Commons insisted: “We cannot have a situation in which parliament is shut down.”

He made the comments during an Edinburgh Fringe appearance at The Stand’s New Town Theatre.

Boris Johnson has refused to rule out proroguing parliament in a bid to force through a no-deal Brexit and prevent MPs from blocking it.

The Prime Minister has insisted the UK will leave the EU on October 31 “come what may”.

But during an on-stage interview, Mr Bercow made clear he will stand in the way of any attempt to close parliament.

He said: “The one thing I feel strongly about is that the House of Commons must have its way.

“And if there is an attempt to circumvent, to bypass or - God forbid - to close down parliament, that is anathema to me.

“I will fight with every breath in my body to stop that happening.

“We cannot have a situation in which parliament is shut down.

“We are a democratic society and parliament will be heard.

“Nobody is going to get away, as far as I’m concerned, with stopping that happening.

“Nobody should be afraid to say what he or she thinks.”

Asked by one audience member if parliament can stop a no-deal Brexit, Mr Bercow simply replied: “Yes.”

He told the packed venue he had no plans to retire.

His comments came as a court battle to stop Mr Johnson suspending parliament also got underway in Edinburgh. 

More than 70 MPs and peers want Scotland's Court of Session to rule that proroguing parliament to ensure the UK leaves the EU without a deal is "unlawful and unconstitutional".

A substantive hearing has been scheduled for September 6.