Court bid to halt Boris Johnson shutting down Parliament thrown out by judge


A Scottish court has thrown out a legal bid to halt Boris Johnson‘s plan to shut down Parliament.

Lord Doherty, presiding over the bid, denied campaigners an injunction that would have put a temporary hold on the Prime Minister’s prorogation of Parliament.

Campaigners are expected to appeal.

Lord Doherty ruled that Johnson does hold the power to prorogue Parliament, and would not issue a temporary order stopping the process.

But he said a full hearing on the matter should be held on Tuesday, September 3 – the day Parliament returns from Summer recess.

Remain activists branded the PM’s plans an “assault on democracy” on Wednesday as they submitted the motion to Edinburgh’s Court of Session – the highest civil court in Scotland – asking for the move to be suspended.

It’s understood the motion was submitted in Scotland because the English high courts are closed for the Summer.

The case was taken by a cross-party group of more than 70 MPs and peers, with the support of the Good Law Project led by QC Jolyon Maugham.

The group had already filed a petition at the Court of Session as part of an effort to stop Mr Johnson from being able to prorogue Parliament, with a judge ordering there should be a fast-track hearing in the case.


 

Edinburgh South West MP Joanna Cherry said on  Twitter  that Mr Johnson’s plan to temporarily shut down Parliament from around September 11 until the state opening on October 14 was a “constitutional outage”.

She said: “I’ve been on a conference call with Jolyon Maugham & the legal team in case of Cherry v Adv General to see if we can speed up the hearing due on 6 September to get court to look at what’s proposed ASAP.”

One of the politicians involved in the legal bid, Labour Edinburgh South MP Ian Murray, said: “Boris Johnson’s plan to suspend Parliament is an assault on our democracy.

“This is the people’s Parliament and the people deserve to have their representatives in Parliament during this vital period.

“Legal action to prevent the Prime Minister suspending Parliament has already been fast-tracked through the courts and we are now seeking an emergency hearing to prevent this undemocratic action.

“A no-deal Brexit would be catastrophic for Scotland and the UK, and we will do everything we can to stop Boris Johnson inflicting such hardship on the people.

“The final say on Brexit should be handed back to the people.”

  • September 3: Parliament returns after summer break. MPs’ chance to vote no confidence in government or block no-deal Brexit
  • September 4: Chancellor announces Whitehall spending for 2020/21
  • September 12: Parliament suspended
  • September 22-25: Labour Party conference
  • September 23-27: Boris Johnson speaks at UN General Assembly in this week and could visit the White House
  • September 29 – October 2: Tory Party conference
  • October 14: Parliament returns with Queen’s Speech – but is then snarled up in a week of debates
  • October 17: European Council meeting. The last chance to get a Brexit deal with 27 EU leaders
  • October 21-22: Votes on the Queen’s Speech
  • Final week: Vote on any plan Boris Johnson gets for Brexit
  • October 31: Brexit happens, with or without a deal





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