John Bercow: Parliament must convene ‘without delay’ after Supreme Court ruling

PUBLISHED: 11:01 24 September 2019 | UPDATED: 13:36 24 September 2019

Speaker of the House of Commons John Bercow on College Green. Photograph: Jonathan Brady/PA Wire.

Speaker of the House of Commons John Bercow on College Green. Photograph: Jonathan Brady/PA Wire.

House of Commons speaker John Bercow has said parliament must ‘convene without delay’ and that he would be consulting party leaders ‘as a matter of urgency’.

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Following the news that the Supreme Court had found the prorogation case was 'unlawful', the speaker said: "I welcome the Supreme Court's judgement that the prorogation of parliament was unlawful.

"The judges have rejected the government's claim that closing down parliament for five weeks was merely standard practice to allow for a new Queen's Speech.

"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. To this end, I will now consult the party leaders as a matter of urgency."

The Supreme Court had put the power back in John Bercow's hands after it found the prorogation plan unlawful.

He later told reporters that parliament would sit again from Wednesday at 11.30am.

He told reporters: "The citizens of the UK are entitled to expect that parliament does discharge its core functions, that it is in a position to scrutinise the executive, to hold ministers to account and to legislate if it chooses.

"In the light of that explicit judgment, I have instructed the House authorities to prepare not for the recall - the prorogation was unlawful and is void - to prepare for the resumption of the business of the House of Commons.

"Specifically I have instructed the House authorities to undertake such steps as are necessary to ensure that the House of Commons sits tomorrow, that it does so at 11.30."

He said he had contacted party leaders or their representatives to inform them.

"Owing to notification requirements, which I'm sure you are all closely familiar with, it will not be possible for there to be a Prime Minister's Questions.

"However, for the avoidance of doubt there will be full scope of urgent questions, for ministerial statements, and for applications for emergency debates under Standing Order number 24."

MORE: Supreme Court in damning verdict against Boris Johnson's government

MORE: Read in full Lady Hale's Supreme Court damning statement about Boris Johnson's prorogation of parliament

Bercow previously described the prorogation move as "a constitutional outrage".

He said it was a "blindingly obvious" attempt to prevent MPs from debating Brexit.

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