Boris Johnson’s decision to suspend Parliament was unlawful, the Supreme Court has ruled.
The BBC described the decision as “politically catastrophic” for Conservative leader Boris Johnson. It is being openly suggested that Johnson may soon become the country’s shortest serving Prime Minister.
Johnson, attending United Nations meetings in New York, at first refused to answer reporters’ questions, before later stating that while he disagreed with the judges’ ruling, he would abide by it.
Tory Johnson prorogued Parliament for five weeks earlier this month, but the court said it was wrong to stop MPs carrying out duties in the run-up to Brexit.
Commons Speaker John Bercow quickly confirmed that MPs would now return tomorrow, although Johnson will not be required to face Prime Minister’s Questions.
The immediate conclusions from the Supreme Court ruling must be that as Prime Minister, Johnson broke the law, and he even lied to the Queen, heaven forbid. Such acts would usually result in a prosecution.
The judgement from 11 justices on the UK’s highest court follows an emergency three-day hearing last week that exposed fundamental legal differences over interpreting the country’s unwritten constitution.
Johnson was accused of shutting down parliament in order to stop MPs from scrutinising his Brexit plans.
The decision was read out by Lady Hale, the president of the Supreme Court. None of the parties were provided with advance copies of the judgement due to its extreme sensitivity.
Lady Hale said, “the effect on the fundamentals of democracy was extreme”.
A raft of MPs has now called for Johnson to resign as Prime Minister. Downing Street said it was “currently processing the verdict”.
In Croydon, the council leader Tony Newman used the occasion to start trolling another local councillor, Mario Creatura, the Conservative Party’s prospective parliamentary candidate for the Labour-held seat of Croydon Central.
“So Mario Creatura,” Newman tweeted (or had someone do it for him as the tweet was unusually free of Newman’s usual writing errors), “as you have been amongst the current PM’s most vocal supporters and a defender of his now illegal actions, your position as a Tory PPC must surely now be untenable?”
Which many will consider to be a fair point.
Newman’s Blairite mate, Steve Reed OBE, the MP for Croydon North, said, “Surely Johnson must now resign? He has lied to the Queen and illegally closed down Parliament to avoid scrutiny. He is unfit to continue in the office he holds.”
Len Duvall, Labour’s leader at the London Assembly, is very familiar with the shenanigans that Johnson can get up to, having spent eight years at City Hall when Johnson was Mayor. He provided further commentary on the situation: “Today’s unanimous ruling confirms that the Prime Minister attempted to subvert democracy in order to push through a disastrous no-deal Brexit without Parliamentary scrutiny.
“The Prime Minister has serious questions to answer. With our country at an unprecedented crossroads, we must keep all the necessary checks and balances in place.”
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