Petitioners will appeal

Judge rules Johnson’s suspension of parliament was lawful

Boris Johnson: prorogation was within the law

A judge in Edinburgh has ruled that Boris Johnson’s suspension, or prorogation, of parliament was within the law.

Lord Doherty has dismissed legal action aimed at preventing the UK Government suspending Parliament ahead of the 31 October Brexit deadline.

Lord Doherty, who heard evidence at the Court of Session yesterday, said this morning (Wednesday) that the prorogation was lawful.

Lawyers for 78 parliamentarians who lodged the action against Mr Johnson today said the court fight would continue.

Lord Doherty ruled: ‘In my view, the advice given in relation to the prorogation decision is a matter involving high policy and political judgement.”

‘This is political territory and decision-making which cannot be measured against legal standards and only by political judgements.”

Gina Miller

Gina Miller: pursuing separate action (pic: Terry Murden

The decision will ease pressure on the Prime Minister, who is facing another legal challenge in Belfast and a third in London, which is being spearheaded by campaigner Gina Miller and former Prime Minister Sir John Major.  

Elaine Motion, executive chairman of legal firm Balfour+Manson, which represents the petitioners, said the issue was far from over.

“We have marked an appeal to today’s ruling and we hope that will be heard in the Inner House of the Court of Session as soon as possible,” she said. 

“We always knew this would be the first step in a long, complex journey and we are pleased to have had the opportunity to make our arguments. We are ready to move forward to the next stage in the process.”

Petitioner Ian Murray, Labour MP for Edinburgh South, said: “The fight against Boris Johnson’s assault on democracy and his plan to crash the UK out of the EU goes on.

“There will be an appeal on this ruling, and there is another court case taking place in England.

“But the main battle is currently in Parliament, where the Prime Minister has lost his majority and does not have the support of the House for his dangerous plan to impose a no-deal Brexit on the country.

“We have wrested control of parliamentary business and will attempt to pass a law that makes a no deal Brexit illegal. We will also fight to secure a final say for the people of the UK on Brexit and we must campaign to remain in the EU.”

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