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Donald Trump says his 'good friend' Boris Johnson will not resign

Prime Minister Boris Johnson (left) meets US President Donald Trump at the UN General Assembly
Prime Minister Boris Johnson (left) meets US President Donald Trump at the UN General Assembly

By Patrick Daly

Donald Trump last night insisted under-fire Prime Minister Boris Johnson is "not going anywhere".

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The US President gave his support to Mr Johnson after he faced calls to resign following the Supreme Court ruling that his suspension of Parliament was unlawful.

Mr Trump said his reaction to the judgment was to tell the Prime Minister "it's just another day in the office" as they met at the United Nations in New York.

After Mr Johnson was questioned about resigning, Mr Trump said: "I'll tell you, I know him well, he's not going anywhere."

Mr Johnson added: "No, no, no. We respect the judiciary in our country, we respect the court.

"I disagree profoundly with what they had to say. I think it was entirely right to go ahead with a plan for a Queen's Speech.

"Frankly we need to get on with Brexit.

"Whether they voted to Leave or Remain they want to get this thing done by October 31 and that's what we're going to do."

Mr Trump rebuked the reporter who asked whether the Prime Minister would resign, saying: "That was a very nasty question from a great American reporter."

Mr Johnson added: "I think he was asking a question, to be fair, that a lot of British reporters would've asked."

The US President said Mr Johnson remains the politician able to "get it done" over Brexit.

Asked if he had any advice for Boris to deal with the Supreme Court judges, Mr Trump said: "No I think he's doing very well.

"I watch it very closely. He's a friend of mine. I tend to watch friends closer than enemies."

Mr Trump repeated his false claim that he was in the UK on the day of the Brexit vote and predicted the result.

He actually visited his Turnberry golf resort the day after the 2016 referendum.

"I happened to be there on the day of the vote," Mr Trump said.

"I even had a prediction and it was a correct prediction. That was a long time ago and it takes a man like this to get it done," he said, gesturing to Mr Johnson.

Earlier it was reported that the Attorney-General told the Prime Minister it was lawful to suspend Parliament - advice that 11 of the UK's top judges savaged in their landmark ruling. According to Sky News, Geoffrey Cox told the Cabinet that Boris Johnson's advice to the Queen on prorogation was "lawful and within the constitution".

The QC is also said to have told the Conservative Party leader that any criticism of such a move would be politically motivated.

Following a meeting with Commons leader Jacob Rees-Mogg and Number 10 aide Nikki da Costa at Balmoral last month, the monarch prorogued Parliament for five weeks, with the Commons doors shut for business until October 14.

Yet all 11 Supreme Court judges ruled yesterday that the instructions were "unlawful" and confirmed the suspension no longer stood.

Mr Cox, according to an unredacted version of court papers released to lawyers challenging Parliament's suspension, is said to have assured Cabinet that the decision to prorogue would not be overturned.

"The Attorney-General said that his advice on the question of the law is that this was lawful and within the constitution," the papers revealed.

"Any accusations of unlawfulness or constitutional outrage were motivated by political considerations."

But judges unanimously ruled that the advice given to the monarch was "unlawful, void and of no effect".

The Supreme Court's decision directly contradicts Mr Cox's legal opinion, a situation that could put pressure on the senior Tory following the leaking of his advice.

Lady Brenda Hale, announcing the judgment, said: "The court is bound to conclude that the decision to advise Her Majesty to prorogue was unlawful because it had the effect of frustrating or preventing the ability of parliament to carry out its constitutional functions."

The Attorney-General's Office said the Government had acted in "good faith" in its moves to prorogue Parliament.

Former Conservative MP Amber Rudd, who quit as work and pensions secretary earlier this month over the Prime Minister's Brexit handling, said Cabinet ministers requested to see the legal advice papers but they were not handed over.

Northern Ireland Secretary Julian Smith is also understood to have pushed to see detailed legal assessments.

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