Boris Johnson declared war on the judiciary last night following a shock Supreme Court ruling that he broke the law.
The UK’s highest court annulled his decision to suspend Parliament for five weeks, branding it ‘unlawful, void and of no effect’.
The judgment prompted fury in No 10, with one senior ally of the Prime Minister saying: ‘The effect of this is to pose the question, who runs this country? Are the courts saying they want to run the country now? It will be very interesting to see what the public makes of that.’
Mr Johnson was forced to telephone the Queen to discuss the unanimous ruling that his advice to her to prorogue Parliament had been illegal.
Sources refused to say whether he had apologised.
During a stormy Cabinet conference call yesterday, Commons leader Jacob Rees-Mogg accused judges of mounting a ‘constitutional coup’.
Boris Johnson (pictured addressing US business leaders at Hudson Yards in New York with Liz Truss) has damned the Supreme Court’s humiliating judgment on his decision to prorogue Parliament and said he disagrees with the ruling. He will fly back from New York tonight to face the music in the Commons
Boris Johnson (pictured meeting Donald Trump in New York tonight) made no effort to hide his anger at the bombshell verdict from the Supreme Court, which found his decision to prorogue the Commons for five weeks was ‘unlawful, void and of no effect’
Speaking at Labour conference this evening, Mr Corbyn insisted he will not table a confidence vote or support a motion for an early poll until after October 19 – when a rebel law passed by Remainers obliges Mr Johnson to beg the EU for a Brexit extension
John Bercow (pictured on College Green today) has seized power and will reopen Parliament tomorrow after the Supreme Court humiliated Boris Johnson, who appeared undimmed as he spoke to business leaders in New York
Attorney General Geoffrey Cox said the court had overturned decades of precedent.
Another No 10 source said: ‘We think the Supreme Court is wrong and has made a serious mistake in extending its reach to these political matters.’
Donald Trump says Boris Johnson brands the PM’s humiliating Supreme Court defeat over prorogation ‘just another day at the office’ as they meet in New York
Donald Trump said that Boris Johnson is ‘not going anywhere’ as the two leaders met in New York today, as the Prime Minister faced growing calls to quit over his Brexit Supreme Court humiliation.
The US president made the comments as they sat down for face-to-face talks likely to focus on post-Brexit trade as well as Iran and other issues.
He branded the defeat in London this morning ‘just another day in the office’ for the beleaguered Prime Minister, who is being urged to step down after misleading the Queen into proroguing Parliament.
Mr Trump has earlier used an address at the UN general assembly to say he was looking forward to signing an ‘exceptional’ trade deal with the UK once it was out of the European Union.
Mr Johnson appeared to rule out resigning as they were grilled by reporters at the UN headquarters.
After the PM was questioned about resigning, Mr Trump said: ‘I’ll tell you, I know him well, he’s not going anywhere.’
Mr Johnson added: ‘No, no, no.’
Mr Trump rebuked the reporter who asked whether the PM would resign, saying: ‘That was a very nasty question from a great American reporter.’
Mr Johnson added: ‘I think he was asking a question, to be fair, that a lot of British reporters would’ve asked.’
The BBC source added: ‘Further, the Supreme Court has made it clear that its reasons are connected to the parliamentary disputes over, and timetable for, leaving the European Union. We think this is a further serious mistake.’
Mr Johnson accused the court of siding with Remain campaigners to ‘frustrate Brexit’, although he was careful to say that he ‘respected’ the court’s judgment.
But Amber Rudd, who quit the Cabinet over Mr Johnson’s hardline approach to Brexit, said it was irresponsible for the Government to claim the ruling was ‘all about people trying to frustrate Brexit’ when the Government’s defence was that ‘prorogation had nothing to do with Brexit’.
The backlash led Justice Secretary Robert Buckland to issue a warning to the Cabinet against questioning the impartiality of the judiciary.
Parliament will now be recalled today, with Mr Johnson forced to cut short his visit to the UN general assembly in New York where he was holding talks with world leaders. Ministers were last night weighing up the possibility of using the recall to make another bid to force an election.
Mr Johnson said that, with Parliament gridlocked, an election was now ‘the obvious thing to do’. Ministers however fear they do not have the numbers to win a Commons vote on the issue.
Pro-Remain MPs last night indicated they would exploit the judgment by forcing a series of votes designed to embarrass the Government. The row came as:
- Mr Cox faced pressure to resign after leaked emails revealed he had briefed the Cabinet that the decision to prorogue was ‘neither unlawful nor unconstitutional’;
- The Prime Minister was preparing for a statement to Parliament this afternoon in which he will defend his Brexit strategy and repeat his determination to take Britain out of the EU by November;
- Nigel Farage led calls for Mr Johnson to sack his chief adviser Dominic Cummings, who is said to have masterminded the decision to prorogue Parliament;
- Jeremy Corbyn looked set to block a formal vote of no confidence in Mr Johnson’s Government, despite declaring that he ‘should now resign’;
- Commons Speaker John Bercow indicated he would give MPs free rein to embarrass the Prime Minister over Brexit when they return to Parliament at 11.30 this morning;
- John Major, who helped bring the Supreme Court case, urged Mr Johnson to make an ‘unreserved apology’ to the monarch, saying: ‘No Prime Minister can ever treat the Queen this way’;
- The future of next week’s Tory conference was in doubt amid fears that MPs could reject a request for a recess;
- Ministers and MPs were ordered to fly back to Westminster to take part in potential crunch votes;
- Downing Street sources were unable to say whether next month’s Queen’s speech would go ahead.
Arch-remainer Gina Miller, who helped defeat Mr Johnson, hugged her lawyer Lord Pannick QC in the courtroom as her victory over the Brexiteer Prime Minister was confirmed
Ms Miller told supporters that MPs should go back to work ‘tomorrow’ after the unprecedented Supreme Court win for remain supporters
Lady Hale delivers the verdict of the Supreme Court as they ruled that Boris broke the law when he shut down Parliament
Yesterday’s court ruling was the final blow to Mr Johnson’s decision to suspend Parliament for five weeks.
In a defiant response, the Prime Minister brushed aside opposition calls to resign and appeared to suggest the court had political motives.
Speaking in New York he said it was ‘perfectly normal’ for a government to prorogue Parliament in order to hold a Queen’s speech, which he had planned to stage on October 14.
He added: ‘Let’s be in no doubt, there are a lot of people who want to frustrate Brexit. There are a lot of people who want to stop this country coming out of the EU.’ The Prime Minister said he had the ‘highest respect’ for the judiciary, but added: ‘I strongly disagree with this judgment.’
Pro-Remain MPs have accused the PM of trying to thwart their attempts to block a No-Deal Brexit and limit scrutiny of his Brexit plans.
Supreme Court president Baroness Hale said that with the prorogation eating up five of the eight weeks of possible parliamentary time before Britain left the EU, ‘the effect on the fundamentals of democracy was extreme’.
She added: ‘No justification for taking action with such an extreme effect has been put before the court.’
Delivering the unanimous verdict of 11 of the UK’s most senior judges, she said: ‘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.’
What happens now the Supreme Court has ruled Boris Johnson’s suspension of Parliament was unlawful?
Following the Supreme Court ruling today, Speaker John Bercow delivered a statement in which he said the House of Commons will resume tomorrow morning at 11.30am.
This is what may happen next in the coming days with anti-Brexit factions plotting how to derail the Prime Minister’s plan to leave the EU on October 31.
There are growing rumours that Labour may shy away from calling a no confidence vote with critics calling them ‘bottlers’.
Instead Mr Corbyn’s may try to force the PM to release the formal advice given to Attorney General Geoffrey Cox to ascertain if he warned Mr Johnson not to do it.
Some Tories including Rory Stewart are said to be pushing Boris to put Theresa May’s deal back to Parliament.
Will Boris Johnson resign?
The Supreme Court’s ruling is highly embarrassing for Mr Johnson and puts the PM in completely uncharted territory.
The fact that he was found to have acted unlawfully represents a hammer blow to his premiership and has unsurprisingly prompted calls for him to quit.
Jeremy Corbyn, the Labour leader, pounced immediately after the ruling was read out as he said the PM must now ‘consider his position’.
Meanwhile, Nicola Sturgeon, the SNP leader and Scottish First Minister, said a premier with ‘any honour would tender his resignation’.
She said that if Mr Johnson will not do the ‘decent and honourable thing’ then MPs should try to force him out.
But Mr Johnson responded to the ruling by insisting he was right and the judges had got their decision wrong.
He had previously said that he had no intention of resigning if the court ruled against him and based on his hardline comments today that position has not changed.
Will the PM now face a vote of no confidence?
The possibility of an imminent confidence vote is receding.
The responsibility for seeking a vote rests with Mr Corbyn as the leader of the opposition, and he has said it will not happen until after the ‘threat of No Deal is taken off the table’.
Opposition leaders rejected Mr Johnson’s demands for an early election earlier this month because they did not want to go to the country before a No Deal Brexit has been ruled out.
But an anti-No Deal law is now on the statute book while rules relating to the holding of general elections dictate that there must be a 25 day campaign period.
That means any election caused by toppling Mr Johnson would not take place until after October 31 – and after the PM has been required by law to ask the EU for a Brexit delay should no agreement have been struck.
It is important to remember that the UK must always have a prime minister: Even if Mr Johnson lost a vote of no confidence and resigned he would be expected to stay in post until a replacement has been chosen or elected.
Could a vote of no confidence succeed?
Any vote would likely be tight. Mr Johnson would expect to count on the support of the overwhelming majority of Tory MPs although today’s Supreme Court ruling could make some think long and hard about backing the PM.
Mr Johnson would also likely be backed by a number of Labour Brexit-backing MPs and the DUP.
On the other side, if Mr Corbyn was to launch a push to get rid of Mr Johnson he would likely only do so if he believed all the other opposition parties were on board.
Lib Dem sources have suggested they could now back a vote of no confidence while the SNP would leap at any opportunity to boot out Mr Johnson.
The parliamentary arithmetic means that the result could ultimately come down to how a group of 21 Tory rebels who were stripped of the whip by the PM after backing the anti-No Deal law would vote.
If they decided to vote with the opposition Mr Johnson would be in big trouble.
What happens if Mr Johnson loses a vote of no confidence?
Convention dictates that he should resign as PM. But Downing Street has suggested before that even if he did lose a confidence vote he would not walk away and would instead try to dissolve Parliament and force an election.
That really would be uncharted territory. If he lost and the government falls as it is supposed to there would then be a 14 day period in which MPs could try to form another administration.
That could be the point at which the Remain alliance tries to put together a cross-party unity government with one task: To delay Brexit beyond October 31 in order to avoid a No Deal split.
What does the Supreme Court ruling mean for Brexit?
It does nothing to change the fact that the UK is still due to leave the EU on October 31.
But crucially it gets Remainer MPs back in the game. When Parliament was suspended MPs and peers were sidelined from the Brexit process.
With Parliament sitting again they will be able to challenge the government and, should they believe it is necessary, try to seize control of proceedings as they did when they passed anti-No Deal legislation.
Could Boris Johnson try to prorogue Parliament again?
Yes. The PM hinted that he could do so when he responded to the Supreme Court ruling.
When the PM first suspended Parliament he did so with the argument that he needed time to prepare a Queen’s Speech in which his new government would set out its domestic legislative plans.
That speech had been scheduled to take place on October 14 but today’s ruling puts that date in doubt.
Mr Johnson today said the government will likely try again to bring forward a Queen’s Speech but it was not immediately clear whether the PM will try to stick to the current October 14 date.
Mr Johnson said the Supreme Court ruling did not ‘exclude the possibility of having a Queen’s Speech’ in the near future.
Lady Hale had said during her ruling this morning that a ‘normal period necessary to prepare for the Queen’s Speech is four to six days’. That suggests Mr Johnson could try to prorogue Parliament in the first week of October in order to keep to his previous timetable.
Convention dictates that Parliament must be prorogued – and the parliamentary session formally brought to a close – before a Queen’s Speech can take place to kick off a new session.
What about the Conservative Party conference?
The Tories are due to meet in Manchester next week but Mr Bercow’s decision to resume Parliament throws a grenade into their plans.
The Conservatives have said they will go ahead as planned with the four day event from Sunday until Wednesday.
It is thought ministers will try to get Parliament’s approval tomorrow for a short conference recess to allow the get together to go ahead. But the chances of MPs voting to go back to recess immediately after Parliament’s doors have been reopened appear slim.
If the Commons rejects the proposed recess then the Tories will almost certainly have to amend their plans: The leader’s speech is due to take place on Wednesday at the same time as PMQs and Mr Johnson cannot be in two places at once.
What has the EU made of all of this?
The European Commission declined to comment today on what it described as the ‘internal constitutional matters’ of the UK.
But Brussels will be closely monitoring developments in London as Westminster tries to work out what happens next.
The last EU summit before Brexit is due to take place on October 17 and Brussels is still waiting for the UK to make a formal offer on how to break the current impasse. The bloc will be waiting to see whether today’s chaos focuses minds or if it leads to further meltdown.
The full, withering judgement of the Supreme Court judges who found Boris Johnson DID break the law and Parliament should be recalled IMMEDIATELY
This is the full judgement summary delivered by Lady Hale, president of the Supreme Court, with the backing of 10 other judges; Lord Reed, Lord Kerr, Lord Wilson, Lord Carnwath, Lord Hodge, Lady Black, Lord Lloyd-Jones, Lady Arden, Lord Kitchin, Lord Sales.
Lady Hale said: ‘We have before us two appeals, one from the High Court of England and Wales and one from the Inner House of the Court of Session in Scotland. It is important, once again, to emphasise that these cases are not about when and on what terms the United Kingdom is to leave the European Union. They are only about whether the advice given by the Prime Minister to Her Majesty the Queen on 27th or 28th August, that Parliament should be prorogued from a date between 9th and 12th September until 14th October, was lawful and the legal consequences if it was not. The question arises in circumstances which have never arisen before and are unlikely to arise again. It is a ‘one-off’.
‘Briefly, the Scottish case was brought by a cross party group of 75 members of Parliament and a QC on 30th July because of their concern that Parliament might be prorogued to avoid further debate in the lead up to exit day on 31st October. On 15th August, Nikki da Costa, Director of Legislative Affairs at No 10, sent a memorandum to the Prime Minister, copied to seven people, civil servants and special advisers, recommending that his Parliamentary Private Secretary approach the Palace with a request for prorogation to begin within 9th to 12th September and for a Queen’s Speech on 14th October. The Prime Minister ticked ‘yes’ to that recommendation.
Lady Hale, the President of the Supreme Court, delivers the verdict of the 11 senior judges this morning
‘On 27th or 28th August, in a telephone call, he formally advised Her Majesty to prorogue Parliament between those dates. On 28th August, Mr Jacob Rees-Mogg, Leader of the House of Commons and Lord President of the Privy Council, Mr Mark Harper, chief whip, and Baroness Evans of Bowes Park, Leader of the House of Lords, attended a meeting of the Privy Council held by the Queen at Balmoral Castle. An Order in Council was made that Parliament be prorogued between those dates and that the Lord Chancellor prepare and issue a commission for proroguing Parliament accordingly. A Cabinet meeting was held by conference call shortly after that in order to bring the rest of the Cabinet ‘up to speed’ on the decisions which had been taken. That same day, the decision was made public and the Prime Minister sent a letter to all Members of Parliament explaining it. As soon as the decision was announced, Mrs Miller began the English proceedings challenging its lawfulness.
‘Parliament returned from the summer recess on 3rd September. The House of Commons voted to decide for themselves what business they would transact. The next day what became the European Union (Withdrawal) (No 2) Act passed all its stages in the Commons. It passed all its stages in the House of Lords on 6th September and received royal assent on 9th September. The object of that Act is to prevent the United Kingdom leaving the European Union without a withdrawal agreement on 31st October.
The judges found the impact of the suspension on democracy ‘was extreme’ and took place ‘in exceptional circumstances’
‘On 11th September, the High Court of England and Wales delivered judgment dismissing Mrs Miller’s claim on the ground that the issue was not justiciable in a court of law. That same day, the Inner House of the Court of Session in Scotland announced its decision that the issue was justiciable, that it was motivated by the improper purpose of stymying Parliamentary scrutiny of the Government, and that it, and any prorogation which followed it, were unlawful and thus void and of no effect.
‘Mrs Miller’s appeal against the English decision and the Advocate General’s appeal against the Scottish decision were heard by this court from 17th to 19th September. Because of the importance of the case, we convened a panel of 11 Justices, the maximum number of serving Justices who are permitted to sit. This judgment is the unanimous judgment of all 11 Justices.
‘The first question is whether the lawfulness of the Prime Minister’s advice to Her Majesty is justiciable. This Court holds that it is. The courts have exercised a supervisory jurisdiction over the lawfulness of acts of the Government for centuries. As long ago as 1611, the court held that ‘the King [who was then the government] hath no prerogative but that which the law of the land allows him’. However, in considering prerogative powers, it is necessary to distinguish between two different questions. The first is whether a prerogative power exists and if so its extent. The second is whether the exercise of that power, within its limits, is open to legal challenge. This second question may depend upon what the power is all about: some powers are not amenable to judicial review while others are. However, there is no doubt that the courts have jurisdiction to decide upon the existence and limits of a prerogative power. All the parties to this case accept that. This Court has concluded that this case is about the limits of the power to advise Her Majesty to prorogue Parliament.
The ruling has delivered a hammer blow to Boris Johnson’s leadership and leaves the path forward more uncertain than ever
‘The second question, therefore, is what are the limits to that power? Two fundamental principles of our Constitution are relevant to deciding that question. The first is Parliamentary sovereignty – that Parliament can make laws which everyone must obey: this would be undermined if the executive could, through the use of the prerogative, prevent Parliament from exercising its power to make laws for as long as it pleased. The second fundamental principle is Parliamentary accountability: in the words of Lord Bingham, senior Law Lord, ‘the conduct of government by a Prime Minister and Cabinet collectively responsible and accountable to Parliament lies at the heart of Westminster democracy’. The power to prorogue is limited by the constitutional principles with which it would otherwise conflict.
‘For present purposes, the relevant limit on the power to prorogue is this: that a decision to prorogue (or advise the monarch to prorogue) will be unlawful if the prorogation has the effect of frustrating or preventing, without reasonable justification, the ability of Parliament to carry out its constitutional functions as a legislature and as the body responsible for the supervision of the executive. In judging any justification which might be put forward, the court must of course be sensitive to the responsibilities and experience of the Prime Minister and proceed with appropriate caution.
‘If the prorogation does have that effect, without reasonable justification, there is no need for the court to consider whether the Prime Minister’s motive or purpose was unlawful.
A key sentence from the judgement came when the judges states that suspension of Parliament was unlawful
‘The third question, therefore, is whether this prorogation did have the effect of frustrating or preventing the ability of Parliament to carry out its constitutional functions without reasonable justification. This was not a normal prorogation in the run-up to a Queen’s Speech. It prevented Parliament from carrying out its constitutional role for five out of the possible eight weeks between the end of the summer recess and exit day on 31st October. Proroguing Parliament is quite different from Parliament going into recess. While Parliament is prorogued, neither House can meet, debate or pass legislation. Neither House can debate Government policy. Nor may members ask written or oral questions of Ministers or meet and take evidence in committees. In general, Bills which have not yet completed all their stages are lost and will have to start again from scratch after the Queen’s Speech. During a recess, on the other hand, the House does not sit but Parliamentary business can otherwise continue as usual. This prolonged suspension of Parliamentary democracy took place in quite exceptional circumstances: the fundamental change which was due to take place in the Constitution of the United Kingdom on 31st October. Parliament, and in particular the House of Commons as the elected representatives of the people, has a right to a voice in how that change comes about. The effect upon the fundamentals of our democracy was extreme.
The judges found that the suspension was ‘void’ and effectively never happened, meaning Parliament is in effect still sitting
‘No justification for taking action with such an extreme effect has been put before the court. The only evidence of why it was taken is the memorandum from Nikki da Costa of 15th August. This explains why holding the Queen’s Speech to open a new session of Parliament on 14th October would be desirable. It does not explain why it was necessary to bring Parliamentary business to a halt for five weeks before that, when the normal period necessary to prepare for the Queen’s Speech is four to six days. It does not discuss the difference between prorogation and recess. It does not discuss the impact of prorogation on the special procedures for scrutinising the delegated legislation necessary to achieve an orderly withdrawal from the European Union, with or without a withdrawal agreement, on 31st October. It does not discuss what Parliamentary time would be needed to secure Parliamentary approval for any new withdrawal agreement, as required by section 13 of the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018.
‘The Court is bound to conclude, therefore, that 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.
In a further blow to Mr Johnson, the judges found that it was up to the Speaker and Lord Speaker to recall Parliament
‘The next and final question, therefore, is what the legal effect of that finding is and therefore what remedies the Court should grant. The Court can certainly declare that the advice was unlawful. The Inner House went further and declared that any prorogation resulting from it was null and of no effect. The Government argues that the Inner House could not do that because the prorogation was a ‘proceeding in Parliament’ which, under the Bill of Rights of 1688 cannot be impugned or questioned in any court. But it is quite clear that the prorogation is not a proceeding in Parliament. It takes place in the House of Lords chamber in the presence of members of both Houses, but it is not their decision. It is something which has been imposed upon them from outside. It is not something on which members can speak or vote. It is not the core or essential business of Parliament which the Bill of Rights protects. Quite the reverse: it brings that core or essential business to an end.
‘This Court has already concluded that the Prime Minister’s advice to Her Majesty was unlawful, void and of no effect. This means that the Order in Council to which it led was also unlawful, void and of no effect and should be quashed. This means that when the Royal Commissioners walked into the House of Lords it was as if they walked in with a blank sheet of paper. The prorogation was also void and of no effect. Parliament has not been prorogued. This is the unanimous judgment of all 11 Justices.
‘It is for Parliament, and in particular the Speaker and the Lord Speaker to decide what to do next. Unless there is some Parliamentary rule of which we are unaware, they can take immediate steps to enable each House to meet as soon as possible. It is not clear to us that any step is needed from the Prime Minister, but if it is, the court is pleased that his counsel have told the court that he will take all necessary steps to comply with the terms of any declaration made by this court.
‘It follows that the Advocate General’s appeal in the case of Cherry is dismissed and Mrs Miller’s appeal is allowed. The same declarations and orders should be made in each case.’
We’re already back at work! Triumphant remainer MPs tweet pictures of themselves returning to Parliament after Supreme Court rules it was illegally shut down
MPs have shared photographs of themselves sitting in the House of Commons eagerly waiting for the return of Parliament after today’s Supreme Court ruling.
Tory backbencher Tom Tugenhadt and the Lib Dem’s Luciana Berger were among those to post selfies from inside the chamber demanding MPs return to action.
Former Green Party leader Caroline Lucas and Labour’s Barry Sheerman shared images of themselves sat in parliament with ‘not silenced’ banners.
Labour MP Stephen Doughty shared a photograph of himself in the back of a cab along with the caption: ‘I’m on my way back to Parliament right now.’
Meanwhile, fellow Labour member Rupa Huq wrote: ‘I’m at desk in my office in Parliament now, ready for proroguing the prorogation.
Tory backbencher Tom Tugenhadt and the Lib Dem’s Luciana Berger were among those to post selfies from inside the chamber demanding MPs return to action
Labour’s Barry Sheerman shared an image of himself sat in parliament with a ‘not silenced’ banner
Former Green Party leader Caroline Lucas (left) holds up a ‘not silenced’ placard, while Carolyn Harris (right) posts a selfie from inside the House
‘Chamber not seen any action for a while, time to get back to scrutinising the government.’
It comes after Boris Johnson was humiliated in the Supreme Court today as judges ruled unanimously he illegally prorogued Parliament to ‘frustrate’ debate on Brexit.
Shortly after, Commons Speaker John Bercow revealed that the House of Commons was preparing to resume tomorrow at 11.30am.
Mr Bercow 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.
Labour member Rupa Huq wrote: ‘I’m at desk in my office in Parliament now, ready for proroguing the prorogation’
Labour MP Stephen Doughty shared a photograph of himself in the back of a cab along with the caption: ‘I’m on my way back to Parliament right now’
Mrs Lucas celebrated the Supreme Court hearing today by posting images from inside the House of Commons
‘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.’
Mr Johnson suspended Parliament with the argument that he needed time to prepare a Queen’s Speech which had been due to take place on October 14.
Today’s ruling effectively destroys that timetable and puts the government back to square one.
Ministers will now have to decide how to proceed, with rumours that Mr Johnson could try to prorogue Parliament again.
Such a move would be incredibly controversial. Mr Johnson had ruled out resigning in the event of the court ruling prorogation was unlawful.
But he will now face intense pressure to consider his position.
The UK remains on course to leave the EU on October 31 but today’s decision means the run up to Halloween will be volatile and fraught with difficulty.