Belfast Telegraph

Home News Brexit

Dodds takes aim at Corbyn as Johnson returns to angry Commons

Boris Johnson
Boris Johnson
Labour MP Barry Sheerman
House Speaker John Bercow
Attorney General Geoffrey Cox
Jeremy Corbyn
Suzanne Breen

By Suzanne Breen

DUP deputy leader Nigel Dodds launched a stinging attack on Jeremy Corbyn last night after the Labour leader hailed the Supreme Court ruling that the Prime Minister had broken the law.

He rounded on the leader of the Opposition for his past support for republicans and he condemned the parliamentary "shenanigans" that were undermining the Prime Minister in his negotiations with the EU.

Mr Dodds was speaking after Mr Johnson returned to the House of Commons following the Supreme Court's ruling that his prorogation of Parliament was unlawful.

The Prime Minister said he thought that the 11 justices were wrong in their decision.

Mr Corbyn said that the highest court in the land had found that the Prime Minister had broken the law.

The judges had concluded there was no reason, let alone a good reason, for shutting down Parliament, he added.

Mr Dodds said: "There will be many people, not least the families of senior judges who were murdered in Northern Ireland - including a Lord Justice of Appeal - who will wish that the leader of the Opposition, when he supported a terrorist organisation that murdered judges, had really put these words into action much earlier in his career.

"When we talk about respect for the rule of law, it should have been during the decades of the Troubles in Northern Ireland."

The North Belfast MP said that despite the Supreme Court ruling, the fundamentals remained unchanged.

"We need to deliver on Brexit. We must do so ideally and if possible with a deal. We want to get this deal through the House," he stated.

Mr Dodds said that his party would work with the Prime Minister to "deal with the anti-democratic backstop". He added: "All the shenanigans in this House - undermining the leverage of the Prime Minister - is actually in danger of bringing about the very result that some who say they don't want."

Mr Johnson challenged the Opposition parties to have the courage of their convictions and table a motion of confidence in his Government or vote for a general election.

Independent unionist MP Lady Sylvia Hermon said she was shocked by the Prime Minister's "arrogance" in declaring the Supreme Court judgment wrong.

She asked if he would attempt to prorogue Parliament again.

He said he would inform the House of his plans when he had fully considered the judgment.

Mr Johnson faced demands to quit and to apologise over his decision to suspend Parliament during angry exchanges in the Commons.

And he hit out at the Supreme Court for intervening in a political matter at a time of "great national controversy" over Brexit.

The Prime Minister was forced to cut short a trip to the United Nations in New York to address MPs after the court ruled that his suspension of Parliament was unlawful. Mr Johnson accused Parliament of being "paralysed" and claimed its members were "sabotaging" Brexit negotiations by seeking to thwart his commitment to taking the UK out of the European Union on October 31, with or without a deal.

And he dared Opposition parties to table a motion of no confidence or back a general election in order to "finally face the day of reckoning with the voters".

Mr Johnson was humiliated by Tuesday's Supreme Court judgment which overturned his advice to the Queen to suspend Parliament until October 14.

The Prime Minister said it was "absolutely no disrespect to the judiciary to say I thought the court was wrong" to pronounce on a "political question at a time of great national controversy".

Claiming that MPs were trying to prevent Brexit entirely, he said: "The people at home know that this Parliament will keep delaying, it will keep sabotaging the negotiations because they don't want a deal."

Labour leader Mr Corbyn insisted the PM should have "done the honourable thing and resigned" after the Supreme Court ruled the five-week suspension was unlawful. He added: "No one can trust this Prime Minister. Not on Iran. Not on Thomas Cook. Not on climate change, not on Brexit. For the good of this country, he should go."

In his reply, Mr Johnson said: "As for being trusted on Iran, this is a man who took the shilling of the Mullahs."

Jo Swinson, Liberal Democrat leader, explained even her five-year-old knows to apologise if he has done something wrong as she pushed for an apology from the PM. Mr Johnson failed to do so and instead criticised the Lib Dems over their Brexit actions.

Ulster Unionist leader Robin Swann said it was "Groundhog Day yet again" at Westminster.

"Nothing has changed. For all the raucous debate, raised voices and verbal volleys exchanged between the Prime Minister and Jeremy Corbyn, nothing has been done to address the fundamental issue of getting a deal between the UK and EU before October 31," he said.

"Parliament should be debating solutions for navigating its way out of the cul-de-sac which the country finds itself in."

Mr Swann added: "The ordinary man and woman on the street is sick, sore and tired watching Parliament descend into an almost daily farce instead of working to get a deal that protects the economic and constitutional wellbeing of the UK and provides the potential for building a positive trading relationship with the EU in the future."

Belfast Telegraph

Popular

From Belfast Telegraph