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Ruling reversed on appeal

Johnson’s Commons suspension ruled unlawful by judges

Boris Johnson

Boris Johnson: brought Commons business to a halt

Appeal judges in Scotland have reversed a ruling on Boris Johnson’s suspension of Parliament by saying the move is unlawful.

The Prime Minister may now have to reconvene Commons business if he fails to halt a further hearing before the Supreme Court in London.

Judge Lord Doherty last week dismissed a claim lodged at the Court of Session, stating saying it is for politicians and not the courts to make such decisions.

But a panel of three judges has today overturned that verdict.

They said they were unanimous in their belief that Mr Johnson’s decision to suspend was motivated by the “improper purpose of stymying Parliament”.

They added: “The Court will accordingly make an Order declaring that the Prime Minister’s advice to HM the Queen and the prorogation which followed thereon was unlawful and is thus null and of no effect.”

The Supreme Court in London is also expected to hear a similar case brought by campaigner Gina Miller. 

Jo Maugham, a lawyer involved in the case, said an appeal to the Supreme Court, the highest judicial body in the United Kingdom, would begin next Tuesday. 

Commons business was suspended yesterday until 14 October.

SNP MP Joanna Cherry, one of the Scottish MPs who brought the challenge, tweeted: ‘Huge thanks to all our supporters & our fantastic legal team who have achieved the historic ruling that #prorogation is #unlawful’.

Shami Chakrabarti, Labour’s Shadow Attorney General, commenting on the Scottish appeal court declaration that Boris Johnson’s decision to suspend parliament was unlawful, said:

“This ruling shows that, despite what Boris Johnson has spent his privileged life thinking, he is not above the law.

“Labour will not allow his elitist shutdown of parliament to enable him to dodge scrutiny and force through a disastrous No Deal Brexit.”

Scottish Affairs spokesperson Jamie Stone MP said: “A proper functioning democracy depends on the proper rule of law. I am not above it, no one is above it – least of all Boris Johnson. This is a truly shocking state of affairs.

“Today the court has agreed with us that proroguing Parliament to force through a no-deal Brexit is unacceptable.

“At this crucial time MPs should be sitting and holding the Conservative Government to account but Boris Johnson has decided to silence us until 14 October.

“Now that this has been deemed unlawful Parliament must be recalled immediately and MPs allowed to debate this judgement and decide what happens next.”

A spokesman for Number 10 said the government was “disappointed” by the decision, and will appeal to the Supreme Court.

He added: “The UK government needs to bring forward a strong domestic legislative agenda. Proroguing Parliament is the legal and necessary way of delivering this.”

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