The best of the reaction to the Supreme Court’s judgment
A roundup of who’s said what in reaction to the Supreme Court’s judgement that prorogation of Parliament was unlawful
As the Prime Minister Boris Johnson prepares to leave New York in order to arrive back in Westminster for the return of the House of Commons tomorrow, key political and legal figures have been giving their reactions to today’s judgment by the Supreme Court that the prorogation of Parliament was unlawful.
– Lady Hale:
Handing down the judgment, President of the Supreme Court Lady Hale said: “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 and 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.This is the unanimous judgment of all 11 justices.”
– Boris Johnson:
Speaking in New York, Mr Johnson said: “I strongly disagree with this decision of the Supreme Court. I have the utmost respect for our judiciary, I don’t think this was the right decision, I think that the prorogation has been used for centuries without this kind of challenge.”
He added: “I do think there’s a good case for getting on with a Queen’s Speech anyway and we will do that.”
– Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn:
Addressing the Labour Party conference in Brighton, Mr Corbyn said: “It shows that the Prime Minister has acted wrongly in shutting down Parliament.
“It demonstrates contempt for democracy and an abuse of power by him.”
Mr Corbyn added: “A Labour government want to be held to account. We wouldn’t bypass democracy, and I invite Boris Johnson in the historic words to consider his position.”
– SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon:
In a statement at the Scottish Parliament, the First Minister said: “It was Boris Johnson who took the decision to prorogue Parliament. It was Boris Johnson who acted unlawfully, and I do not say this lightly, but it is Boris Johnson who must now resign.”
Ms Sturgeon added: “This behaviour on the part of a Prime Minister shames his office, it shames the UK government, it shames the Conservative Party and it demonstrates beyond doubt that Westminster politics is badly broken.”
– Liberal Democrat Leader Jo Swinson:
Ms Swinson said Mr Johnson “isn’t fit to be Prime Minister”.
“He’s misled Queen and country, and unlawfully silenced the people’s representatives,” she tweeted.
“I’m on my way to resume my duties in the Commons and stop Brexit altogether.”
– Gina Miller
Mrs Miller, who led the legal challenge against the move to prorogue parliament, said outside the Supreme Court: “Today’s ruling confirms that we are a nation governed by the rule of law. Rules that everyone, even the Prime Minister, is not above.”
– Former Tory leader and PM Sir John Major:
“I am delighted that the court has ruled the Prime Minister’s lengthy and contentious prorogation of Parliament to be unlawful.”
Sir John added: “Parliament must now be recalled immediately to recommence its work, and to receive the Prime Minister’s unreserved apology.
“No prime minister must ever treat the Monarch or Parliament in this way again.”
– Speaker John Bercow:
Giving a statement outside Parliament, the Speaker said: “I welcome the Supreme Court’s judgment that the prorogation of Parliament was unlawful.
“In reaching their conclusion, they have vindicated the right and duty of Parliament to meet at this crucial time to scrutinise the executive and hold Ministers to account.
“As the embodiment of our Parliamentary democracy, the House of Commons must convene without delay.”
– SNP MP Joanna Cherry:
Ms Cherry, who led the case in the Scottish courts, said outside the Supreme Court: “This is a huge victory for the rule of law and for democracy. As regards Mr Boris Johnson, the highest court in the United Kingdom has unanimously found that his advice given to Her Majesty the Queen was unlawful.
“His position is untenable and he should have the guts for once to do the decent thing and resign.”
– Former Conservative cabinet minister Amber Rudd:
Ms Rudd appeared to suggest Mr Johnson should consider sacking his key aide Dominic Cummings on Sky News: “He’s clearly not getting good advice. He will have to draw his own conclusions from that.
“If I was getting the sort of advice he’s been getting, I would certainly consider some people’s positions.”
– SNP’s Westminster leader Ian Blackford:
“This is unprecedented and the Prime Minister has to accept his responsibilities, he must resign,” Mr Blackford told PA.
He added: “He’s been thwarted in that, he must resign and if he doesn’t resign then Parliament has got to do that for him. Parliament must remove Boris Johnson as Prime Minister.”
– Independent MP Dominic Grieve:
Speaking on the Victoria Derbyshire Programme, Mr Grieve said: “The idea that you can play fast and loose with Parliament, just to nudge it to one side when it’s convenient for the Executive to do so, is dead and buried for good.”
– Conservative MP Andrew Bridgen:
Speaking on the Victoria Derbyshire Programme, Mr Bridgen said: “It’s the worst possible outcome for our democracy.”
He added: “What we’re going to see now is the Speaker effectively taking control of Parliament and playing to the Remainers’ tune until October 31 when he resigns.
“We’ve got a zombie Parliament that won’t go back to the people and be held to account,” he concluded.