MPs call for parliament to be recalled after Scottish court rules suspension is 'unlawful'

PUBLISHED: 11:57 11 September 2019 | UPDATED: 12:00 11 September 2019

Shadow Brexit secretary Sir Keir Starmer speaking to the media. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA.

Shadow Brexit secretary Sir Keir Starmer speaking to the media. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA.

PA Archive/PA Images

Opposition MPs have called for parliament to be recalled after the highest civic court in Scotland ruled Boris Johnson's prorogation plans were 'unlawful'.

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The government has appealed the decision in the Court of Session which made the ruling, with the appeal hearing expected on Tuesday.

But MPs have already seized on the court ruling with the SNP, Labour and the Lib Dems calling for politicians to return to parliament.

Sir Kier Starmer said: "This is really important. The idea of shutting down parliament offended people across the country and then they felt they weren't being told the truth.

"I am really pleased with the result. For the court to make a declaration like that on an issue like this is a huge thing for us. It vindicates everything we did last week.

"I think that what I need to do, and what others need to do, is to get back to parliament and open those doors and get back in, and get Boris Johnson back in parliament so we can hold him properly to account."

The shadow Brexit secretary later told BBC News: "This is an incredibly powerful judgment. Normally, judges don't go into this space… So I can only assume the evidence against Boris Johnson was overwhelming."

Labour's shadow attorney general Shami Chakrabarti said: "This ruling shows that, despite what Boris Johnson has spent his privileged life thinking, he is not above the law.

"Labour will not allow his elitist shutdown of parliament to enable

Manuel Cortes, general secretary of Labour-affiliated transport union TSSA, has said Boris Johnson "should be in jail". He added: "He's broken the law, is not fit to hold office and along with this disgraceful government must be held to account."

Liberal Democrat shadow Brexit Secretary Tom Brake joined the calls.

He said: "The decision today is highly embarrassing for Boris Johnson and his government. The implications of this decision made by the Scottish courts should not be underestimated - the shutdown of Parliament has been found unlawful and the government must now act accordingly.

"The prorogation of parliament was never more than a power grab. It was an authoritarian move by Boris Johnson designed to overrule and silence the people and their representatives and to force a disastrous no-deal Brexit on our country

"Boris Johnson is trampling on the very values and principles the United Kingdom was founded upon. The Liberal Democrats will continue to fight both in parliament and in the courts to protect our democracy and stop a no-deal Brexit".

SNP MP Joanna Cherry said: "Today's ruling of the highest court in Scotland that Boris Johnson's plans to shut down the UK parliament ahead of Brexit are unlawful and unconstitutional is a huge victory and a vindication of our case. The prorogation must now be stopped.

"The court agreed it is unlawful to suspend the UK parliament for the specific purpose of preventing parliament from scrutinising the Brexit process and holding this shambolic Tory government's extreme Brexit plans to account.

"We have uncovered more and more evidence that this was a plot by Boris Johnson and his cronies to prevent us from stopping them taking Scotland and the UK off a Brexit cliff edge by forcing through a damaging no deal against the will of parliament.

"This ruling takes us one step closer to ensuring the UK government cancels their shameful prorogation and blatant plot to force through an extreme Brexit. Boris Johnson cannot be allowed to break the law with impunity."

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