BORIS Johnson CAN refuse to delay Brexit despite being threatened with jail, his top aide has claimed.
The PM had insisted he would “never” postpone the looming October 31 deadline, despite being dealt a major blow yesterday when the Lords approved legislation blocking a No Deal Brexit.
The bill orders Mr Johnson to ask for a Brexit delay until January 31 next year if no agreement has been reached by October 19 and MPs do not back No Deal.
And the Prime Minister was today warned by the former Director of Public Prosecutions Lord MacDonald that he could face jail if he ignored the legislation.
But Cummings is said to have a “different interpretation” of the law – and reportedly told the PM at a special adviser’s meeting that he didn’t need to worry about the bill.
When asked if jail time would be an “extreme outcome”, MacDonald told Sky News: “It is by convention that if you are found guilty of defying a court order then you are jailed.”
“A refusal in the face of that would amount to contempt of court which could find that person in prison.”
BoJo yesterday wrote to Tory members saying he would not carry out Parliament’s instructions to ask for another extension – saying he was only bound “in theory” by the law passed on Friday.
He added: “They just passed a law that would force me to beg Brussels for an extension to the Brexit deadline. This is something I will never do.”
It is by convention that if you are found guilty of defying a court order then you are jailed
The new PM was pictured rushing back to London with girlfriend Carrie Symonds today after cutting short his stay with the Queen as he continued to battle to push Brexit through.
And he was encouraged by former Conservative leader Iain Duncan Smith to become a “martyr” and continue to push for Brexit.
He said: “This is about Parliament versus the people. Boris Johnson is on the side of the people, who voted to leave the EU.
“The people are sovereign because they elect Parliament. But Parliament wants to stop the will of the people.”
But former Tory MP Dominic Grieve, who had the whip removed for rebelling against his party last week, added: “He can’t ignore the law. A Prime Minister is subject to the law of the land just like anybody else.”
The bill is expected to receive Royal Assent on Monday.
Mr Johnson had previously vowed he would rather be “dead in a ditch” than to further delay Brexit – with sources claiming that he would even be willing to resign as PM.
The nuclear move could force an election if a majority government could be not be formed.
Boris Johnson’s demands for a snap general election were this week scuppered after being blocked by Jeremy Corbyn and Remainers.
If he were to stand down, the Queen would ask MPs if anyone else could form a government capable of commanding a majority in the Commons and, if not, there would have to be an election.
The law would still dictate that a Brexit delay must be sought, with an election likely to then be held in November.
In this situation, Remainers are confident Brexit would be delayed.
Mr Johnson had intended to spend three days in a traditional Prime Minister’s retreat at the 93-year-old monarch’s Balmoral castle but was forced to come home early.
Buckingham Palace officials were “very understanding” about the change of plans because of the ongoing Westminster turmoil, a No10 source revealed.
The Aberdeenshire trip was to be Mr Johnson’s first long stay with the Queen since taking office in July.
His girlfriend Carrie Symonds accompanied him on the annual September commute made by all Prime Ministers to Her Majesty on her long holiday.
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A No10 spokesman said: “The PM has accepted Her Majesty Queen’s invitation to visit Balmoral.
“He will have an audience of Her Majesty on Friday followed by dinner, before returning to London on Saturday.”
A Government source added: “This is a very busy time for the Government”.
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