What law did Boris Johnson break and what exactly did he say to the Queen?

What law did Boris Johnson break and what exactly did he say to the Queen?

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BORIS Johnson’s decision to suspend Parliament was ruled “unlawful” and “void”.

But is it really against the law? Here’s the story behind the historic Supreme Court ruling, and what he said to the Queen.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson addresses the 74th session of the United Nations General Assembly
AP:Associated Press

What law did Boris Johnson break?

Boris Johnson’s prorogation did break the law, but it broke constitutional, not criminal law.

By preventing Parliament’s right to hold the government to account, he broke the rules governing how the UK functions.

What he did was “unlawful” – meaning it wasn’t permitted or conforming to the law. But it is not “illegal” – which would mean forbidden by law.

There is currently no suggestion that Johnson broke a criminal law.

This means he cannot be convicted, or, as some have suggested, go to jail.


What exactly did he say to the Queen?

Johnson has been accused of dragging the Queen in to the political row after the Supreme Court found he advised her to act unlawfully, to “change the fundamentals of our democracy”.

Conversations between the PM and the Queen remain private, so we can never know exactly what said between them.

We do know that Johnson telephoned Her Majesty to ask her permission to prorogue Parliament, and that the Queen gave the go-ahead from her Balmoral residence in Scotland, where she enjoys her annual summer break.

It is not clear whether she accepted because it is expected of the monarchy to be led by the Government, or because Johnson “deliberately misled” her, which some have suggested.

Johnson also phoned the Queen in New York after the Supreme Court ruling before dashing back to New York.

A government official would not elaborate on what was discussed, saying: “We never, in any circumstances, discuss the content of conversations between the prime minister and Her Majesty.”


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