Express claims Blair set up the Supreme Court in 2005 to block Brexit vote

PUBLISHED: 10:23 13 September 2019

Former prime minister Tony Blair. Photograph: Kirsty O'Connor.

Former prime minister Tony Blair. Photograph: Kirsty O'Connor.

PA Wire/PA Images

The Daily Express has bizarrely claimed the Supreme Court was set up by Tony Blair in 2005 in order to block Brexit 14 years later.

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The Brexit-backing paper's report Martina Bet has said that "unearthed reports" - which appear to be Hansard - show that Mr Blair was responsible for establishing the final court of appeal in the UK - even though that is widely known as he was prime minister at the time.

Ms Bet appears to view the court's founding as a conspiracy, with Mr Blair anticipating the 2016 EU referendum and its result right through until Boris Johnson's election as Conservative Party leader and prime minister and decision to prorogue Parliament earlier this month.

Under the headline "Brexit bombshell: Why Tony Blair is behind Supreme Court ruling on Parliament shutdown", Ms Bet writes: "Tony Blair is responsible for the location of the explosive Supreme Court battle Boris Johnson is going to fight on Tuesday over the highly controversial prorogation of Parliament, unearthed reports reveal."

The "unearthed reports" Ms Bet has uncovered appear to be a Hansard report from November 2009 in which Conservative MP Shailesh Vara asked then justice minister Michael Wills about reports "the decision to set up a Supreme Court was taken by Tony Blair and Lord Falconer over a glass of whisky".

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A UK government appeal against the ruling by Scotland's highest civil court that Johnson's suspension of the UK Parliament is unlawful will be heard by the Supreme Court in London next week.

Ms Bet wrote: "As Mr Johnson and his key advisor Dominic Cummings prepare for the legal battle, the reason this ruling will be made at the Supreme Court can be revealed - and it is all because of Tony Blair.

"The former Labour Prime Minister controversially swept aside 1,400 years of history by setting up a new US-style Supreme Court in place of the Law Lords in 2005.

"The House of Lords lost its judicial functions upon the establishment of the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom in October 2009, when Constitutional Reform Act 2005, introduced by Mr Blair, came into force.

"Somewhat bizarrely, had the Committee still been in existence today, under section 8 of the Appellate Jurisdiction Act 1876, the Lords would have had to rule on the suspension of their own Chamber."

The Supreme Court was formally established on October 1, 2009.

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