Politics

Legal bid filed in court to stop Boris Johnson suspending Parliament over Brexit

A legal bid has been launched to prevent Prime Minister Boris Johnson from suspending Parliament.

Remain activists branded the PM's plans an "assault on democracy" as they submitted a motion to Edinburgh's Court of Session – the highest civil court in Scotland – asking for the move to be suspended.

The case is being taken by a cross-party group of more than 70 MPs and peers, with the support of the Good Law Project led by QC Jolyon Maugham.

Separately, campaigner Gina Miller – who won a Supreme Court case to ensure MPs have a voice over Brexit – is taking urgent legal advice after being reassured he would not ignore MPs.

She said: "All of us have been misled by the Prime Minister and his lawyers. I am now taking urgent steps to address the situation and ensure that Parliament is given sufficient time to have its legitimate say."

It comes after Boris Johnson today declared war on Parliament by confirming the Commons will be prorogued for a month on around September 12.


Bookies cut odds on a November election and the pound plunged by around a cent as the "tinpot dictator" Prime Minister announced a Queen's Speech on October 14.

His "Eton coup" means proroguing – suspending – Parliament just days from now, at the exact moment MPs were planning a law to prevent no-deal Brexit.

It will also frustrate any bid to force a no-confidence vote in the government.

Commons Speaker John Bercow – who is on a family holiday and wasn't told – called it a "constitutional outrage" adding: “Shutting down Parliament would be an offence against the democratic process". 

Labour MP Clive Lewis added: "The police will have to remove us from the chamber. We will call on people to take to the streets. We will call an extraordinary session of Parliament."

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn wrote to the Queen requesting an urgent meeting and said: "This is an outrage and a threat to our democracy."

The group had already filed a petition at the Court of Session as part of an effort to stop Mr Johnson from being able to prorogue Parliament, with a judge ordering there should be a fast-track hearing in the case.

A hearing has been scheduled for Friday September 6.

But SNP MP Joanna Cherry, who is also involved in the case, said they are now looking to see if that could take place sooner.

The Edinburgh South West MP said on Twitter that Mr Johnson's plan to temporarily shut down Parliament from around September 11 until the state opening on October 14 was a "constitutional outage".

She said: "I've been on a conference call with Jolyon Maugham & the legal team in case of Cherry v Adv General to see if we can speed up the hearing due on 6 September to get court to look at what's proposed ASAP."

One of the politicians involved in the legal bid, Labour Edinburgh South MP Ian Murray, said: "Boris Johnson's plan to suspend Parliament is an assault on our democracy.

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