Lawyers acting on behalf of Gina Miller have made an urgent application to the high court for a judical review of Boris Johnson’s plan to prorogue parliament.
“This is a brazen attempt, of truly historical magnitude, to prevent the executive being held accountable for its conduct before parliament,” she warned as she made the application.
She said she had received legal correspondence from the government’s own legal officers in the last fortnight that proroguing parliament would not be an “appropriate” measure, and believed Boris Johnson had misled the public.
In a statement she said: “It is, sadly, all too clear from today’s announcements, that prorogation is a desperate reality, not a mere theoretical nicety. In view of this, I urge our courts to urgently hear my application for judicial review before 9 September 2019 – the earliest date that prorogation of parliament could come into effect.”
“We have all been comprehensively misled by the prime minister and his lawyers. A reply from the government legal department received late on 27 August stated: ‘The proposed intention to bring legal proceedings in respect of events which have not occurred and may never do so is noted. For the avoidance of doubt, we do not accept that the approach taken in your letter is an appropriate one.’
“To put this in an official legal letter and send it out at the same time as you are drafting a press release confirming parliament’s suspension the following morning illustrates just how manipulative and anti-democratic this prime minister and his government really are.”
The hearing will come shortly after lawyers hope to stop the prorogation of parliament in a Scottish court, with MPs behind the challenge arguing that it is unconstitutional and illegal.
Jolyon Maugham QC, the anti-Brexit lawyer helping to push the case, wrote on Twitter: “We believe parliament can be unsuspended – and will be asking the Court of Session to do exactly that either tomorrow or on Friday.”
Another seperate bid by victims campaigner Raymond McCord in Belfast will be heard imminently.