A DEFIANT Boris Johnson last night laid into judges for ruling that he suspended Parliament illegally.
The PM accused the 11-strong Supreme Court panel of damaging his negotiations with the EU.
Boris Johnson has accused the 11 judges of the Supreme Court panel of damaging his negotiations with the EU[/caption]
The PM has said he ‘strongly disagrees’ with the decision of the Supreme Court[/caption]
Jacob Rees-Mogg branded the Court decision a ‘constitutional coup’[/caption]
Mr Johnson insisted: “Prorogation has been used for centuries without this kind of challenge.”
In reference to Brexit he said: “We in the UK will not be deterred from delivering the will of the British people. I strongly disagree with this decision of the Supreme Court.”
The PM added: “Let’s be in no doubt there are a lot of people who want to frustrate Brexit. There are a lot of people who want to stop this country coming out of the EU. And to be honest it is not made much easier by this kind of stuff in Parliament or in the courts.”
In a Cabinet conference call last night Commons Leader Jacob Rees-Mogg branded the Court decision a “constitutional coup”.
In comments that risk fresh controversy he added that the judges’ verdict was “the most extraordinary overthrowing of the constitution”, according to the Daily Mail. And the leading Brexiteer even described some elements of the judgment as “factually inaccurate”.
Former chief legal adviser to the Government Sir Stephen Laws QC suggested the Supreme Court had “strayed too far into politics”.
He added that it was disappointing the courts were ‘involving themselves in the relationship between Parliament and Government”.
Mr Johnson’s No10 aides stoked the fire by accusing the nation’s highest court of meddling in politics.
They said the court made “a serious mistake in extending its reach to these political matters”.
DEFIANT BORIS HITS OUT
A source added: “The Supreme Court has made it clear its reasons are connected to the Parliamentary disputes over, and timetable for, leaving the EU. We think this is a further serious mistake.”
The backlash came after the court ruled the PM’s decision to suspend parliament for five weeks had an “extreme effect on the function of our democracy”.
The ruling sparked the biggest constitutional crisis for years. Meanwhile:
- Mr Johnson called the Queen from a UN summit in New York last night but No10 refused to say whether he apologised.
- Brussels’ confidence in the PM being able to get a deal through the Commons was knocked as EU diplomats feared he was too thin-skinned to win round feuding MPs.
- Senior Tory Brexiteers rallied around Mr Johnson, while Tory critics joined calls for him to resign.
- Allies of Attorney General Geoffrey Cox tried to scotch rumours he was considering resigning as he stood by his advice that a five-week prorogation was legal.
- Calls grew for Mr Johnson to get rid of his combative senior adviser Dominic Cummings.
Yesterday’s Supreme Court’s ruling overturned earlier judgments backing the PM’s actions.
No10 confirmed last night that the court’s decision means the Queen’s Speech can no longer go ahead on October 14, forcing the PM to park his new domestic plans for schools, crime and social care.
CALLS TO RESIGN
The 11 judges unanimously found that his order to the Queen to prorogue until October 14 was “unlawful, void and of no effect”.
Delivering it, Supreme Court President Lady Hale said: “It had the effect of frustrating or preventing the ability of Parliament to carry out its constitutional functions without reasonable justification.”
But in one small silver lining for No10, the judges decided there was “no need for the court to consider whether the Prime Minister’s motive was unlawful” — meaning he escaped a second charge of having purposely misled the 93-year-old monarch.
The PM, surrounded by his advisers, watched the verdict being read out in his New York hotel room.
After an emergency conference call with his Cabinet, he cut short his UN conference visit to head home.
Within an hour of the ruling, Speaker John Bercow instructed the Commons to return today at 11.30am.
The judgment prompted fury in No 10, with one senior ally of the Prime Minister saying: ‘The effect of this is to pose the question, who runs this country? Are the courts saying they want to run the country now? It will be very interesting to see what the public makes of that.’
Mr Johnson faced repeated calls to resign, including from his predecessor Sir John Major.
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn accused the PM of “usurping power from the people”.
He added: “I invite Boris Johnson to consider his decision and become the shortest-serving Prime Minister there’s ever been.”
Eleven judges who defied the PM
- LADY HALE: Brenda Hale, 74, is President of the Supreme Court. She previously backed an ECHR ruling over votes for prisoners. In July ex-Guardian editor Alan Rusbridger, now Principal of Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford, announced Lady Hale would be joining Gary Lineker as a “visiting fellow”.
- LADY BLACK: Jill Black, 65, became the second female Supreme Court justice in 2017. In 2016 she ruled against a woman wanting a bigger divorce settlement seven years after her marriage ended. She said: “This court is not here to provide a top-up for every foreign divorce.”
- LORD HODGE: Patrick Hodge, 66, joined the court in 2013. He previously served as an intellectual property judge in Scotland. In June 2016 his son George, a committed Remainer, branded the Leave campaign “one of the most disgraceful spectacles in modern British political history”.
- LORD LLOYD-JONES: David Lloyd-Jones, 67, is a fluent Welsh speaker. He spent much of his time as a barrister practising EU and public law, then became a High Court judge in 2005. He was appointed to the Supreme Court in 2017, becoming the first Welsh person to be made a justice.
- LADY ARDEN: Mary Arden, 72, is an “ad hoc” British judge at the European Court of Human Rights. She was named one of the “50 most powerful women in Britain” by the left-wing Guardian newspaper in 1997. A member of the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague.
- LORD SALES: Philip Sales, 57, became the government’s go-to barrister for civil cases when he was aged just 35. But in 2009 there was outrage when he charged taxpayers £3.3million over six years. He was dubbed the “Treasury Devil”. Joined the Supreme Court in January.
- LORD KITCHEN: David Kitchin, 64, was appointed to the Supreme Court in October last year. Became a QC in 1994 before being appointed a Deputy High Court judge in 2001. Rose to Court of Appeal justice in 2011. Made his name as an intellectual property specialist.
- LORD WILSON: Nicholas Wilson, 74, spent 26 years as an expert in family law, serving as a Family Court judge at the High Court. He was one of two Supreme Court judges who ruled against a decision by five fellow justices in favour of releasing Prince Charles’ “black spider” letters to ministers.
- LORD REED: Robert Reed, 63, was a judge at the European Court of Human Rights in the 1990s. In 1999 he was on the ECHR panel that ruled the killers of James Bulger did not get a fair trial. In 2004 he sparked fury after sentencing a paedophile who raped a baby to just five years’ jail.
- LORD KERR: Brian Kerr, 71, served as an “ad hoc” judge at the ECHR in 2001. In 2014 he, backed the Human Rights Act. He said: “Citizens of the UK are as much Europeans as anybody else and are entitled to cast a jealous eye on the rights of their brethren in the rest of Europe.”
- LORD CARNWATH: Robert Carnwath, 74, was Attorney General to Prince Charles, advising him just as his marriage to Princess Diana rumbled. He founded the EU Forum of Judges for the Environment. He sits on the advisory board of the King’s College London Centre of European Law.
MOST READ IN BREXIT
And one senior Tory MP added: “Boris should have gone within 30 minutes. And Cummings.”
Brexit Party boss Nigel Farage was also fuming, tweeting: “The calling of a Queen’s Speech and prorogation is the worst political decision ever. Dominic Cummings must go.”
A spokeswoman for Attorney General Mr Cox argued the Government acted in good faith and believed the prorogation of Parliament was “both lawful and constitutional”.
Lady Hale said prorogation ‘prevented the ability of Parliament to carry out its constitutional functions’[/caption]
Boris Johnson escaped a second charge of having purposely misled the Queen[/caption]
Nigel Farage called the calling of a Queen’s speech and prorogation ‘the worst political decision ever’[/caption]
THE Supreme Court judgement divided the nation yesterday – with 43 per cent wanting Boris Johnson to go and 39 per cent backing him.
Nearly six in ten Leave voters disagreed with the court – while nearly eight in ten Remainers agreed, found the YouGov poll of 4,000 adults.
Two thirds of Labour voters think he should quit, as do one in five Tories.
But one in five Labour want him to stay.
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