Britain’s Supreme Court says Conservative Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s suspension of parliament from Sept. 10 until Oct. 14 was unlawful.
Johnson’s advice to Queen Elizabeth II to prorogue, or suspend, parliament “was unlawful, void and has no effect,” says Brenda Hale, president of the Supreme Court, adding that its 11 judges were unanimous in their decision.
“This was not a normal prorogation.
“It prevented parliament from carrying out its normal role,” Hale said.
Johnson said he wanted to clear the way for a new government work programme in a new session of parliament. Opponents accused him of seeking to limit scrutiny of his plans for Britain to leave the European Union, with or without a deal, on Oct. 31.
The hearing in the case lasted for three days.
Meanwhile, John Bercow, the Speaker of the House of Commons, has said that lawmakers should reconvene “without delay” after the Supreme Court’s stunning decision to not only rule Boris Johnson’s suspension unlawful, but to quash the prorogation entirely.
In a statement, Bercow said: “I welcome the Supreme Court’s judgement that the prorogation of Parliament was unlawful.”
“The judges have rejected the Government’s claim that closing down Parliament for five weeks was merely standard practice to allow for a new Queen’s Speech.”
“In reaching their conclusion, they have vindicated the right and duty of Parliament to meet at this crucial time to scrutinise the executive and hold Ministers to account,” he added.
Joanna Cherry, the lawmaker and lawyer who brought the Scottish case that the Supreme Court has sided with, is making a statement outside the court.
“This is an absolutely momentous decision,” she said on the back of the win.
“There is nothing to stop members of Parliament such as myself and my colleagues from resuming immediately” in scrutinizing the government, Cherry adds.
“I am absolutely delighted that the United Kingdom Supreme Court has agreed with Scotland’s Supreme Court,” she notes, before addressing Boris Johnson.
“His position is untenable and he should have to guts to do the decent thing and resign,” she said.