Tue, 16 April 2024

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The House Live All
By Bishop of Leeds
Press releases

Boris Johnson slams judges but confirms Parliament will return after court rules his suspension was unlawful

4 min read

Boris Johnson has criticised the Supreme Court after judges ruled that his decision to suspend Parliament was unlawful.

The Prime Minister said he "strongly" disagreed with the unanimous ruling from Britain's highest court against his move to prorogue Parliament for five weeks.

Ministers had argued that the decision to suspend the Commons was designed to pave the way for the Government's new legislative agenda in a Queen's Speech on 14 October.

But the eleven judges unanimously agreed that his true reasons for the prorogation had been to prevent Parliament from carrying out "its constitutional functions" by being able to hold ministers to account.

Reacting to the verdict on a trip to New York, Mr Johnson said: "I strongly disagree with this decision of the Supreme Court.

"I have the utmost respect for our judiciary. I don't think this was the right decision. I think that the prerogative of prorogation has been used for centuries without this kind of challenge."

And he even appeared to train his fire on the court itself, as he said: "It's perfectly usual to have a Queen's Speech. That's what we want to do.

"But more importantly let's be in no doubt, there are a lot of people who want to frustrate Brexit there are a lot of people who basically want to stop this country coming out of the EU.

"And we have a parliament that is unable to be prorogue, doesn't want to have an election and I think it's time we took things forwards."

In a further attack on the judiciary, the Prime Minister said his efforts to strike a Brexit deal with the EU were "not made much easier by this sort of stuff in Parliament or in the courts".

MPs earlier this month passed a law requiring Mr Johsnon to seek n extension to Brexit if he cannot strike a deal by mid-October.

But Mr Johnson said: "Obviously getting a deal is not made much easier against this background - but we're going to get on and do it."

He added: "As the law stands, we leave on 31 October and I'm very hopeful that we will get a deal."

Commons Speaker John Bercow has already confirmed that MPs will return to the House of Commons on Wednesday, while Labour has called on the Prime Minister to resign in the wake of the court's decision.


Mr Johnson's comments came as Conservative former Prime Minister Sir John Major - who was among those challenging the Government's decision - said no PM should "ever treat the monarch or Parliament in this way again".

In a statement the ex-Tory leader said: "This was a case that should never have had to be considered, and it gave me no pleasure to be pitted against a Government and Prime Minister of my own Party.

"Parliament must now be recalled immediately to recommence its work, and to receive the Prime Minister’s unreserved apology.

"I hope this ruling from the Supreme Court will deter any future Prime Minister from attempting to shut down Parliament, with the effect of stifling proper scrutiny and debate, when its sitting is so plainly in the national interest."

Delivering the ruling on Tuesday morning, Supreme Court president Lady Hale said: "The court is bound to conclude that the decision to advise Her Majesty to prorogue Parliament was unlawful, because it had the effect of frustrating or preventing the ability of Parliament to carry out its constitutional functions without reasonable justification."



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