Proroguing Parliament was 'unlawful', says Supreme Court
By James Young | 24th September 2019
A historic ruling by the UK Supreme Court said "Parliament has not been prorogued" and revealed that prime minister Boris Johnson's advice to The Queen was "unlawful."
The unanimous verdict handed down by the Supreme Court this morning means that Parliament is officially still sitting.
Speaker of the House of Commons John Bercow has confirmed that the House of Commons will sit tomorrow for the "resumption of the business of the House."
Prime Ministers Questions will not take place as usual on a Wednesday, but there will be full scope for urgent business motions to be filed.
Announcing the judgement, the president of the Supreme Court, Lady Hale explained the decision of all 11 judges.
She said: "The decision to advise Her Majesty to prorogue Parliament was unlawful because it had the effect of frustrating or preventing the ability of Parliament to carry out its constitutional functions without reasonable justification.
"This court has concluded that the prime minister's advice to Her Majesty was unlawful, void and of no effect.
"This means that the order in council to which it led was also unlawful, void and of no effect should be quashed.
"This means that when the royal commissioners walked into the House of Lords it was as if they walked in with a blank sheet of paper.
"The prorogation was also void and of no effect. Parliament has not been prorogued."
Reacting to the news, Mr Bercow said that Parliament will resume its business at the earliest possible opportunity.
He said "I welcome the judgement this morning of the supreme court. That judgement is unanimous and unambiguous and that judgement is unqualified.
That juduguemt is that the proroguing was unlawful. Unlawful because it prevented or frustrated parliament in the discharge of its core duties in a crucial time for our country.
"In the light of that explicit judgement I have instructed the house authorities to prepare for the resumption of the business of the House of Commons.
"I have contacted party leaders and senior representatives of political parties to prepare the way for the House of Commons to do its work."
Speaking in New York where he is attending the United Nations, the prime minister said: "Obviously this is a verdict that we will respect and we respect the judicial process.
"I have to say that I strongly disagree with what the justices have found. I don't think that it's right but we will go ahead and of course Parliament will come back.
"I do think there is a good case for getting on with a Queens Speech and we will do that. But the most important thing is we get on and deliver Brexit on October 31."
Speaking at the Labour Party conference in Brighton, leader of the opposition Jeremy Corbyn told Boris Johnson to resign as prime minister.
Mr Corbyn's keynote speech at the conference has been moved forward to this afternoon in light of parliament resuming.
But in an earlier speech he said: "The prime minister has acted wrongly, shutting down parliament.
"It demonstrates a contempt for democracy and an abuse of power by him. The Supreme Court passes the baton to the speaker to recall Parliament.
"I will be touch immediately to ensure it is recalled so we can question the prime minster and demand that he obeys the law passed by Parliament.
"I invite Boris Johnson, in the historic words, to consider his position and become the shortest-serving prime minister there has ever been."
Liberal Democrat leader Jo Swinson said: "This unanimous judgement from the supreme court makes clear Boris Johnson is not fit to be prime minister.
"He is not fit for office and must resign."
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