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Mon, 6 July 2020

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By Andrew McQuillan
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By Hft

Jacob Rees-Mogg brands Supreme Court ruling a 'constitutional coup' as MPs prepare to grill Boris Johnson

Jacob Rees-Mogg brands Supreme Court ruling a 'constitutional coup' as MPs prepare to grill Boris Johnson
3 min read

Jacob Rees-Mogg has accused the Supreme Court of carrying out a "constitutional coup" after it ruled that Boris Johnson's suspension of Parliament was unlawful.


The Leader of the House of Commons made the remark during an emergency Cabinet conference call as senior ministers scrambled to respond to the landmark ruling.

MPs will return to the Commons on Wednesday after the 11 senior judges unanimously agreed that Mr Johnson's prorogation had no legal effect and had therefore not officially happened.

The Prime Minister was attending the UN General Assembly in New York when the court's ruling was handed down by Supreme Court president Lady Hale.

She said the court rejected the Government's claim that the shutdown was a normal prelude to a Queen's Speech on 14 October.

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."

According to the Daily Mail, Mr Rees-Mogg - who is expected to address MPs in the Commons - told the Cabinet call that the ruling was "constitutional coup" and "the most extraordinary overthrowing of the constitution".

The Commons leader also claimed that "some elements of the judgment are factually inaccurate".

The unfolding constitutional crisis has forced the Prime Minister to cut short his trip to New York, where he also held talks with US President Donal Trump, so he can be in Parliament when it resumes.

Responding to the ruling on Tuesday, Mr Johnson said he "strongly" disagreed with it, and even appeared to suggest the court was part of an anti-Brexit conspiracy.

He said: "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."

The Prime Minister added: "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."

The court's ruling also threatens to throw next week's Conservative Party conference in Manchester into chaos, as Parliament is now almost certain to be sitting while it is taking place.

Ministers may try to pass a motion calling for a short recess, but that is likely to be rejected by opposition parties.

Mr Johnson may also make a third attempt to call an election, but that is also expected to be defeated as opposition parties insist a no-deal Brexit on 31 October must be ruled out completely before voters go to the polls.

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