JOHN Major has been accused of “sheer hypocrisy” for his Supreme Court attack on Boris after HE prorogued Parliament amid the “cash for questions” row in 1997.
The former Tory PM’s lawyer accused Johnson of acting like a dodgy estate agent with “ulterior motives” as he argued that suspending Commons to push through Brexit was unlawful.
Justices at the Supreme Court are currently deciding on the legality of Johnson’s decision to shut down Parliament, after a High Court judge dismissed an earlier challenge by Sir John and Remainer lawyer Gina Miller.
Lord Garnier, QC for Sir John, told the Supreme Court that Johnson’s reasons for proroguing Parliament “cannot be true” and in fact they were motivated by “political interest”.
‘POT AND KETTLE’
However, critics have been left fuming by his words given his own suspension of Parliament 22 years ago.
Sir John had delayed the publication of a report in to a scandal that rocked his party to the core – allowing him to dodge a Commons debate on the controversy before Tony Blair won a landslide Labour victory.
Tory MP Iain Duncan Smith said: “So the words ‘pot’ and ‘kettle’ do come to mind rather significantly here.”
The former Conservative leader added: “I do recall that this is the same man suddenly prorogued Parliament in the height of the ‘cash-of-questions’ report and he was highly criticised at the time but he still went ahead’.
Cross bench peer Lord Digby Jones, who served as a trade minister under Gordon Brown, commented: “The Prime Minister prorogues Parliament for a long time for apparently ulterior motives – but that’s ok isn’t it Sir John Major when it’s you who did it in 1997!
“The sheer hypocrisy of Major now shows the lengths Remainer Saboteurs will go to subvert the Will of the People.”
It comes as it emerged MPs may have to return to Parliament next week if the PM loses.
Boris, who spent today visiting an army training centre in Salisbury, has declined to rule out suspending Parliament again if he loses the Supreme Court case.
In his submission Sir John cites a legal case where an estate agent was in “breach of fiduciary duty” after wrongly claiming a buyer wanted to live in a home when they wanted to sell it on.
He said: “It could hardly be suggested that the duties of the prime minister to the monarch are less than those of an estate agent to a homeowner.
“Accordingly, if the court is satisfied that the prime minister’s decision was materially influenced by something other than the stated justification, that decision must be unlawful.”
I do recall that this is the same man suddenly prorogued Parliament in the height of the ‘cash-of-questions’ report and he was highly criticised at the time but he still went ahead.
During the battle between two Tory grandees – Sir John’s lawyer Lord Garnier QC will argue against the government’s claim that the shutdown was political and the courts have “no jurisdiction”.
Yesterday a Remainer lawyer told the court Boris Johnson “shut the Mother of Parliaments with the father of lies”.
Aidan O’Neill alleged that No10’s documents on the shutdown should not be taken as the “complete truth”.
“What we have with this prorogation is the mother of parliaments closed down by the father of lies,” declared O’Neill, who already won his claim in the Scottish courts.
“Lies have consequences but the truth will set us free.
Mr O’Neill, who represents the cross party group of 70 MPs and anti-Brexit activists, said the government had proven itself “unworthy of trust” and said “enough is enough”.
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If Johnson loses the case, MPs would ask the Speaker to reconvene Parliament “as soon as possible next week”, said Lord Pannick, who represents Ms Miller.
And if Boris refused to act, then the Speaker and Lord Speaker could take over proceedings.
If Parliament was reconvened it means that Boris could be hauled back from a UN summit in New York to attend to matters in Westminster.
The Queen could also be forced to end her holiday in Balmoral to open the Parliamentary session.
Sir John Major claimed Boris Johnson cted like a dishonest estate agent with “ulterior motives” as the battle over the Parliament shutdown reaches its final day[/caption]
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