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Friday, Jan 17, 2020
Home / World News / Boris Johnson says he’ll ‘get on’ after court objects to parliament suspension

Boris Johnson says he’ll ‘get on’ after court objects to parliament suspension

Johnson will return to the U.K. after delivering his speech to the United Nations General Assembly in New York City, scheduled for 8 p.m. local time, they said.

world Updated: Sep 24, 2019 18:36 IST
Alex Morales, Kitty Donaldson,  Robert Hutton
Alex Morales, Kitty Donaldson, Robert Hutton
Johnson will return to the UK after delivering his speech to the United Nations General Assembly in New York City, scheduled for 8 p.m. local time, they said.
Johnson will return to the UK after delivering his speech to the United Nations General Assembly in New York City, scheduled for 8 p.m. local time, they said.(AFP)

The UK Supreme Court dealt an unprecedented legal rebuke to Prime Minister Boris Johnson, branding his controversial decision to suspend Parliament unlawful and giving lawmakers another chance to frustrate his plans for Brexit. Johnson will not resign and will cut short a trip to New York to fly back to the U.K. on Tuesday night, his office said. House of Commons Speaker John Bercow said Parliament will resume on Wednesday.

Key Developments:

Johnson’s Office Says He Won’t Resign (1:30 p.m.)

Johnson’s office, briefing reporters in New York City, insisted the prime minister will not resign, despite calls from opposition parties (see 11:10 a.m.).

Johnson will return to the UK after delivering his speech to the United Nations General Assembly in New York City, scheduled for 8 p.m. local time, they said.

Johnson Pledges to ‘Get On’ With Brexit (1:15 p.m.)

Speaking in New York City, where he is due to address the United Nations General Assembly, Johnson stood by his commitment to deliver Brexit by Oct. 31, blaming the claimants who brought the case to the Supreme Court for seeking to “frustrate’’ Brexit.

“Obviously this is a verdict that we will respect and we respect the judicial process,” Johnson said in a pooled TV interview. “I have to say that I strongly disagree with what the justices have found. I don’t think that it’s right but we will go ahead and of course Parliament will come back.”

“The most important thing is we get on and deliver Brexit on Oct. 31 and clearly the claimants in this case are determined to frustrate that and to stop that,” Johnson said. “I think it would be very unfortunate if Parliament made that objective which the people want more difficult, but we will get on.”

Corbyn to Give Speech This Afternoon (12:45 p.m.)

Jeremy Corbyn’s office confirmed to journalists in Brighton that the opposition leader will make his conference speech at 4 p.m. on Tuesday, a day earlier than scheduled. Deputy Leader Tom Watson -- who had been due to speak on Tuesday afternoon -- would now speak place on Wednesday, they said.

But Watson -- who was subject to an attempt by Corbyn-supporters to abolish his position at the start of the party’s conference -- tweeted that he wouldn’t make the speech.

‘I will be with all Labour colleagues in Parliament tomorrow,’ Watson wrote. ‘I’ll have to save the speech until the next conference.’

Parliament to Resume Wednesday: Bercow (12:20 p.m.)

Speaker of the House of Commons John Bercow said the House of Commons will meet at 11.30 a.m. on Wednesday. He emphasized it would not be a recall, but a “resumption” because the Supreme Court ruled suspension unlawful.

There will be no Prime Minister’s Questions, a usual fixture on the agenda on Wednesdays, but Bercow said “for the avoidance of doubt, there will be full scope for urgent questions, ministerial statements and applications for emergency debates.”

Emergency debates are what Members of Parliament used to seize control of the agenda earlier this month to pass legislation to block a no-deal Brexit.

Corbyn Moves Speech Forward to Tuesday (12:15 p.m.)

After Parliament was recalled to sit on Wednesday, Labour Party Leader Jeremy Corbyn will make his speech to the party’s annual conference on Tuesday, his office said in Brighton. Corbyn had been due to speak on Wednesday. No time was given for the rescheduled speech.

‘Perfectly Obvious’ Johnson Was Lying: Grieve (11:50 a.m.)

Former Attorney General Dominic Grieve, who was kicked out of the parliamentary Conservative Party for voting against Boris Johnson on Brexit, said it was “perfectly obvious” that the prime minister’s stated reason for suspending Parliament was “bogus and untrue.”

“I’m not surprised by the judgment because of the gross misbehavior by the prime minister,’ Grieve told the BBC. “He should be pausing and reflecting on the untold damage he is doing to our institutions.”

Farage Turns Fire on Johnson’s Key Adviser (11:40 a.m.)

Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage criticized Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s senior adviser, Dominic Cummings, after the Supreme Court ruled the suspension of Parliament for five weeks was unlawful.

“The calling of a Queen’s Speech and prorogation is the worst political decision ever. Dominic Cummings must go,” Farage said on Twitter.

Cummings has been a lightning rod for criticism of Johnson and has been criticized by opposition lawmakers, as well as some from the prime minister’s Conservative Party, for overseeing an uncompromising hard-Brexit operation in Johnson’s office.

Rudd: PM Withheld Legal Advice from Cabinet (11:35 a.m.)

Amber Rudd, who quit Boris Johnson’s government this month after accusing him of not working toward a deal with the European Union, said the prime minister had not shown the legal advice on suspending Parliament to the rest of the Cabinet.

“This is an astonishing moment and I regret that the PM, who entered office with such goodwill, went down this route,’’ Rudd said on Twitter, urging Johnson to “work with Parliament” to pass a Brexit deal.

EU Not Commenting on UK Court Ruling (11:15 a.m.)

The European Commission won’t comment on the UK’s “internal constitutional matters,” its spokeswoman Natasha Bertaud told reporters in Brussels. “Our interlocutor remains the government of the UK,” she said.

Calls Mounting for Johnson to Resign (11:10 a.m.)

Other party leaders backed Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn’s call for Prime Minister Boris Johnson to resign.

“Boris Johnson isn’t fit to be prime minister,” Liberal Democrat leader Jo Swinson said on Twitter. “He’s misled Queen and country, and unlawfully silenced the people’s representatives. I’m on my way to resume my duties in the Commons and stop Brexit altogether.”

Liz Saville Roberts, leader of the Welsh nationalist party Plaid Cymru, said: “There is no question, the prime minister must resign immediately and a crash out Brexit stopped once and for all.’’ The Scottish Nationalist Party’s Joanna Cherry said if Johnson “had a shred of integrity, he would jump before he is pushed.”

Corbyn Says Johnson Should Quit (11:05 a.m.)

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn demanded Parliament be recalled and called for Prime Minister Boris Johnson to resign after announcing the Supreme Court’s verdict to a standing ovation from delegates at his party’s annual conference in Brighton.

“It demonstrates a contempt for democracy and an abuse of power by him,” Corbyn said. He said he’d be in touch immediately with House of Commons Speaker John Bercow “to demand that Parliament is recalled so that we can question that prime minister and demand that he obeys the law that’s been passed by Parliament.”

Corbyn then invited Johnson “to consider his position” to a further standing ovation and chants of “Johnson Out!” from the delegates.

Bercow: Parliament Must Reconvene Without Delay (11 a.m.)

Speaker of the House of Commons John Bercow called for Parliament to reconvene.

“As the embodiment of our Parliamentary democracy, the House of Commons must convene without delay,” Bercow said in a statement. “ To this end, I will now consult the party leaders as a matter of urgency.”

Court Says Parliament Suspension ‘Unlawful’ (10:45 a.m.)

The UK’s top judges dealt an unprecedented legal rebuke to Prime Minister Boris Johnson, branding his controversial decision to suspend Parliament unlawful. Parliament must decide what happens next and should meet as soon as possible, judge Brenda Hale said in unanimous ruling.

The landmark decision Tuesday is a boost for MPs seeking to prevent Johnson pulling the country out of the European Union by Oct. 31 without a deal. By limiting the prime minister’s power to suspend Parliament in the future, the judges also deprived Johnson of one of his last weapons to force through Brexit before his self-imposed deadline.

The decision to prorogue parliament was “unlawful, void and no effect” Judge Brenda Hale, president of the Supreme Court, said in the decision.

“The decision to advise Her Majesty to prorogue Parliament was unlawful because it had the effect of frustrating or preventing the ability of Parliament to carry out its constitutional functions without reasonable justification,” she said.

No Evidence of Criminality by Brexit Campaign Group (10 a.m.)

The UK’s National Crime Agency said it found no evidence of criminality after investigating possible offenses around foreign involvement in funding for the 2016 EU referendum campaign.

Brexit campaign group Leave.EU and the businessman Arron Banks will face no further action, the agency said. Even so, election watchdog the Electoral Commission said in a statement: “We are concerned about the apparent weakness in the law, highlighted by this investigation outcome, which allows overseas funds into UK politics.’’

Labour’s Long-Bailey Keeps ‘Leave’ Option Open (9:30 a.m.)

Labour’s Business spokeswoman Rebecca Long-Bailey suggested the party could campaign for ‘Leave’ in a second referendum if it secures the right deal with the European Union after winning a general election. In a Bloomberg TV interview, she denied the party has a “wait-and-see” approach, saying Labour wants a “credible” Brexit deal.

“The decision that was made yesterday at conference, that was about assessing that final deal and determining as a party how we would campaign in such a people’s vote,” Long-Bailey said. The assessment of the deal is needed because “it could be 70% of what we’ve asked for; it could be 50% of what we’ve asked for, it could be 100%.”

In a speech to the party’s conference Tuesday, Long-Bailey will announce a ramp up in spending on electric vehicles and offshore wind if Labour comes to power. Labour will spend 3.6 billion pounds ($4.5 billion) to expand the electric vehicle charging network, as well as offering 2.5 million people interest free loans to help buy electric cars. She’ll also announce plans to build 37 offshore wind farms, with the government holding a 51% stake, according to Labour.

Leadsom: We’ll Obey Law But Seek to Leave on Time (Earlier)

Business Secretary Andrea Leadsom insisted the government will abide by the law blocking a no-deal Brexit, but will still seek to leave the European Union on Oct. 31 even if Boris Johnson can’t reach a new Brexit deal.

“There’s a huge amount of work to negotiate a deal,” Leadsom said in an interview with BBC Radio. “Should we not get a deal, then we will be seeking to leave the European Union without a deal on the Oct. 31, but we will of course, always, abide by the law. The government always abides by the law.’’

She didn’t say how it would be possible to both abide by the law -- which says the prime minister must seek an extension from the EU by Oct. 19 if he can’t reach a deal -- while also leaving without a deal on Oct. 31.

“We had a referendum over three years ago now, we’ve got to get on and deliver on it and Boris Johnson is the only person who is going to do that,” she said.


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