Nigel Farage demanded Boris Johnson sack his maverick chief aide Dominic Cummings today in the wake of the bombshell Supreme Court ruling.
The Brexit Party leader branded the prorogation of Parliament the ‘worst decision ever’ and insisted Mr Cummings should carry the can.
As Remainers including Amber Rudd joined calls for the No10 adviser to be axed, Mr Farage also warned that a snap election in November was now looking ‘inevitable’.
Mr Johnson was humiliated this morning as judges ruled unanimously that he suspended Parliament illegally in an ‘extreme’ move to ‘frustrate’ debate on Brexit.
Lady Hale said the Prime Minister’s decision to ask the Queen to shut down the Commons for five weeks was ‘unlawful, void and of no effect’ with John Bercow pledging to recall MPs to the Commons immediately.
Jeremy Corbyn demanded the PM – who watched the disastrous events unfold from his hotel room in New York – resign.
Mr Farage told MailOnline he could take issue with the ‘tone’ from the Supreme Court, but ‘the judgement is the judgement’.
‘I just think that in the end the decision to call a Queen’s Speech and have the prorogation of Parliament has turned out to be one of the worst political decisions ever,’ he said.
‘I think Mr Cummings will get his marching order pretty quickly.’
He added: ‘We could take issue with the judgement, we could take issue with the tone if we want to.. but I don’t think that is the issue.
‘The issue now is how Parliament sorts out this mess. A general election in November now looks absolutely inevitable.’
Former Cabinet minister Ms Rudd also made a thinly-veiled call for Mr Cummings to be axed. ‘If I was getting the sort of advice the PM receives, I would certainly be considering some people’s positions,’ she told Sky News.
Tory MPs said ‘fingers would be pointed’ over the massive setback, and suggested Mr Cummings could end up being the fall guy.
‘He was always going to be a short term appointment anyway,’ one senior MP told MailOnline.
But they added that Commons procedure adviser Nikki da Costa could also bear the brunt of a backlash. ‘Nikki da Costa might get the bullet on this one,’ they added.
Attorney General Geoffrey Cox is also in the crosshairs after it emerged he advised the PM that his prorogation move was legal.
Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage (pictured) demanded Boris Johnson sack his maverick chief aide Dominic Cummings – believed to be masterminding his strategy
Tory MPs said ‘fingers would be pointed’ over the massive setback in the Supreme Court, and suggested Mr Cummings (pictured in Westminster earlier this month) could end up being the fall guy
Mr Farage branded the prorogation of Parliament the ‘worst decision ever’ in the wake of the bombshell Supreme Court ruling today
Former Cabinet minister Amber Rudd (pictured in Westminster today) also made a thinly-veiled call for Mr Cummings to be axed
Mr Cummings, who masterminded the Vote Leave campaign in the 2016 referendum, was a surprise appointment by Mr Johnson when he became PM in July.
He is a deeply divisive figure who inspires great loyalty from some other aides – but is despised by others.
He notoriously summarily sacked one special adviser and had her frogmarched out of No10 by police earlier this month after accusing her of being in contact with people close to ex-Chancellor Philip Hammond.
Mr Cox, an eminent QC before entering government, reportedly told the Prime Minister and the Cabinet that proroguing Parliament for five weeks was legal – despite the Supreme Court ruling otherwise.
According to Sky News, advice that was previously redacted from court papers indicates that Mr Cox QC said any accusation of unlawfulness was ‘motivated by political considerations’.
‘The attorney general said that his advice on the question of the law is that this was lawful and within the constitution,’ says a court paper reportedly seen by the news outlet.
‘Any accusations of unlawfulness or constitutional outrage were motivated by political considerations. The proposal was compatible with the provisions of the NIEF (Northern Ireland Executive Formation Act) 2019.’
Earlier, Supreme Court president Lady Hale said: ‘The court is bound to conclude therefore that the decision to advise Her Majesty to prorogue was unlawful because it had the effect of frustrating or preventing the ability of Parliament to carry out its constitutional functions’, adding: ‘Parliament has not been prorogued’.
And in an unprecedented attack on the PM’s motives Lady Hale said: ‘The effect upon the fundamentals of our democracy was extreme. No justification for taking action with such an extreme effect has been put before the court’ – but she refused to say if he lied.
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. Outside in Parliament Square her supporters cheered and chanted: ‘Johnson out’.
Jeremy Corbyn has already demanded the Prime Minister’s resignation as Mr Johnson woke up 3,500 miles away from London in New York where he will meet with President Donald Trump at the United Nations later.
Mr Johnson has vowed not to resign – and will now be considering whether he can legally defy the court and ask the Queen to prorogue Parliament again.
Lady Hale delivers the verdict of the Supreme Court as they ruled that Boris broke the law when he shut down Parliament
Protesters gathered in the London rain outside the Supreme Court in Parliament Square today ahead of the historic judgment
Dominic Cummings: The acerbic Brexit mastermind not afraid to speak his mind
Dominic Cummings was the quiet yet acerbic power behind the Vote Leave campaign that propelled Britain towards backing Brexit in 2016.
While Boris Johnson and Michael Gove were in the limelight the 47-year-old remained in the shadows pulling the strings.
Born in Durham and educated at Oxford University, he over saw a campaign that totally outflanked Remain and which is widely credited with leading to the 52-48 result in favour of quitting.
Such was his central role he was played by Benedict Cummberbach in Channel 4’s Brexit: The Uncivil War last year (below).
He was the man behind the infamous ‘£350million-a-week for the NHS’ claim on red buses, and the ‘take back control’ catchphrase. However, a year after the referendum, Mr Cummings said it was a ‘dumb idea’.
But his success in the strategic role of the campaign saw his drawn blinking into the daylight.
A former special adviser at the Department for Education during Mr Gove’s controversial reforming tenure was later found in contempt of Parliament for refusing to answer MPs questions about campaign.
He declined to assist the Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee’s investigation into claims made by Cambridge Analytica whistleblower Christopher Wylie that the Facebook data of millions of users was illegally harvested and used to sway the Brexit vote.
He was once labelled a ‘career psychopath’ by former prime minister David Cameron, according to widely-reported remarks.
But Mr Cummings is no stranger to an insult either.
He described Mr Davis, then the Brexit secretary, as ‘thick as mince, lazy as a toad and vain as Narcissus’ in July 2017.
He has also turned his fire on hardline Brexiteers in the Tory European Research Group in one of his trademark lengthy blogposts.
In March he likened some members of the to a ‘metastasising tumour’ accusing them of ‘scrambling’ for top radio spots while ‘spouting gibberish’ since 2016.
He also attacked them for their help – or lack of it – during the referendum campaign, saying ‘so many of you guys were too busy shooting or skiing or chasing girls to do any actual work’.
The mastermind criticised a ‘narcissist-delusional subset’ of the ERG that he said needed to be ‘excised’.
Some had actually been ‘useful idiots for Remain during the campaign’ and continued to play this role, he claimed.
Today’s extraordinary Supreme Court judgment will have seismic consequences over whether the political power of the Prime Minister built up over centuries can be neutered by the courts.
It also delivers a sledgehammer blow to his promise to take Britain out of the EU on October 31 ‘deal or No Deal’ with remainer MPs ready to take control of the process.
What happens now that the Supreme Court has ruled that prorogation was unlawful?
The Supreme Court has unanimously ruled that Boris Johnson’s prorogation of Parliament was unlawful.
The ruling will have major ramifications for Brexit, the government and the country.
Here’s what is likely to happen next:
Lady Hale, the President of the Supreme Court, said that suspending Parliament was ‘unlawful, void and of no effect’.
Effectively she said that as a result the order to prorogue Parliament had never actually been made.
‘Parliament has not been prorogued,’ she said.
Lady Hale said while the court was not entirely certain about what should happen next, it believed it should be up to the Commons Speaker John Bercow and the Lord Speaker to decide how to proceed.
That means when Parliament sits again rests entirely in the hands of Parliament rather than the government.
Mr Bercow responded to the ruling immediately and said that Parliament ‘must convene without delay’.
He said he will now consult the leaders of the respective political parties before announcing a final decision on when Parliament will sit again.
However, the expectation will be that MPs and peers will return to Westminster as soon as possible, potentially as soon as tomorrow.
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.
‘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.
Jeremy Corbyn demanded an immediate recall of Parliament and an election to get a ‘democratic’ government.
He said: ‘It shows the PM has acted wrongly in shutting down parliament. It demonstrates a contempt for democracy and an abuse of power.’
Labour’s Keir Starmer told reporters in Brighton: ‘We should be meeting as soon as we can, we’re not closed down. It also means that we won’t have a Queen’s Speech because the parliamentary session has not been brought to an end.’
The Supreme Court suggested that Parliament can now immediately reconvene.
Normally with a recall of the Commons the PM has responsibility for triggering MPs to sit again.
But Commons Speaker John Bercow and Lords Speaker Lord Fowler have declared that that Houses will ‘resume’ tomorrow.
A clearly jubilant Commons Speaker moved to seize the initiative from Boris Johnson as he praised the ‘unambiguous’ ruling that the PM’s prorogation of Westminster was illegal.
Mr Bercow – who staged a protest in the House when the ‘abnormal’ suspension was forced through earlier this month – said it was not possible to have the regular Wednesday PMQs session.
But he gave a heavy hint that he is ready to help MPs take more action to bind the government, stressing that he would hear requests for urgent questions and emergency debates.
The intervention came in a hastily-arranged press conference on College Green following the drama in the Supreme Court.
Mr Johnson gave his first reaction to the ruling today, saying his disagreed with the judges’ decision and complaining that his job of getting a Brexit deal was being made harder.
He suggested many people in the UK were determined to ‘frustrate’ his plan for the country to leave the EU on October 31.
Mr Johnson – who watched the court proceedings from his New York hotel room – is pressing on with plans to meet Donald Trump and give a speech at the UN general assembly.
But he will return to the UK a few hours earlier than originally intended so he can be in Parliament for what promises to be a monster showdown from 11.30am tomorrow. There is speculation the government could table a motion for a conference recess in a bid to salvage the Tory conference – which is due to start in Manchester this weekend. Cancelling the event could potentially cost the party millions of pounds.
Mr Johnson said the case brought by arch-Remainer Gina Miller, former prime minister Sir John Major and the SNP was to ‘frustrate Brexit’ and ‘stop this country coming out of the EU’.
He said: ‘I strongly disagree with this decision of the Supreme Court. I have the upmost respect for our judiciary but I don’t think this was the right decision I think that the prorogation has been used for centuries without this kind of challenge.
‘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. And to be honest it is not made much easier by this kind of stuff in parliament or in the court.
‘But I think the most important thing is we get on and deliver Brexit on October 31 and clearly the claimants in this case are determined to frustrate that and to stop that’.
Eleven of the UK’s most senior judges were asked to have the final say on two polar-opposite court cases brought as the PM vowed to take Britain out of the EU on October 31 ‘deal or No Deal’.
Last month the High Court in London threw out the case brought by arch-Remainer Gina Miller and former prime minister Sir John Major after three judges decided Mr Johnson’s decision was ‘political’ and not a matter for them.
But the Court of Session in Edinburgh sided with a SNP-led case that the PM’s decision was illegal and purely for political gain so should be reversed.
The Prime Minister wanted the Supreme Court to back the English decision and dismiss the Scottish one – but lost in an one of the most extraordinary cases involving a British leader in history.
There were four possible outcomes for the PM with the best case scenario for him being that he won and the Commons remains shut as he decided until October 14.
Judges could also choose to find against him but do nothing – or find against him and demand the Queen’s Speech is brought forward by days or weeks.
The worst case scenario was that judges would find he deliberately lied to Her Majesty, broke the law and MPs would return to Parliament this week because his prorogation was ‘void’.
Mr Johnson addressed the United Nations Climate Action Summit in New York last night, and afterwards denied he had closed down Parliament to stymie MPs wanting to discuss Brexit.
Breaking into cod-French he said: ‘Donnez-moi un break is my message to those who say there will be no parliamentary scrutiny. It is absolute nonsense.’
Mr Johnson said the suspension was ordered to allow for a Queen’s Speech on October 14 when he will unveil a new legislative agenda.
Asked if his position would be untenable if the court rules against him, he said: ‘No, I think the reasons for wanting a Queen’s Speech are extremely good.’
He went on: ‘When it comes to parliamentary scrutiny, what are we losing? Four or five days of parliamentary scrutiny when they’ve had three years to discuss these issues.’
Eleven justices were asked to determine whether his advice to the Queen to prorogue Parliament, for what opponents describe as an ‘exceptionally long’ period, was unlawful.
Boris Johnson has been accused of misleading the Queen by asking her to shut down Parliament
Mr Johnson was asked whether he was nervous about the Supreme Court judgment in an interview in New York, and replied: ‘It takes a lot to make me nervous these days.
‘All I can tell you is that I have the highest regard for the judiciary in this country, I will look at the ruling with care.’
How Parliament was shut down at outbreak of WW1, again after WW2… and also when Sir John Major was PM
The suspension of Parliament has been used for political reasons during key moments in Britain’s history, lawyers for the Government argued yesterday.
Rebuking the claims of campaigners, the Government cited how Parliament was broken up – or ‘prorogued’ – for weeks at the outbreak of the First World War in 1914.
Legal submissions setting out Boris Johnson’s case said ‘the history of the power to prorogue Parliament supports the fact that it has been used for political purposes’.
The document said prorogation had been used at times of ‘political importance’.
This included ‘restricting the time otherwise available to debate legislation’, as well as occasions when the ‘Government of the day lacked a majority in the House of Commons’. Lord Keen, the Advocate General for Scotland, representing the Government, said Parliament was prorogued from September 18 until October 27, 1914, shortly after the outbreak of war. He told the Supreme Court: ‘That clearly was not for the purpose of the King’s Speech.’
The written submissions noted that the King’s Speech on prorogation at the time called for ‘action not speech’.
Lord Keen said the Government arranged for two one-day prorogations in 1948 to force through legislation on how the House of Lords could block bills.
‘This last example was clearly for a party political purpose,’ he added. ‘It was a naked political reason.’
Sir John Major prorogued Parliament himself ahead of the 1997 general election, which prevented MPs from debating a report on the cash for questions scandal, but has questioned whether the current prorogation by Boris Johnson was done in the best interests of the country.
On that occasion, the prorogation was in March and followed by an election on May 1, resulting in a change of government after Tony Blair’s landslide win.
He was questioned by reporters on the flight to New York over whether he would resign if the Government lost.
‘I will wait and see what the justices decide, the Supreme Court decides, because as I’ve said before I believe that the reasons for … wanting a Queen’s speech were very good indeed,’ he said.
Asked whether he would rule out proroguing Parliament again before the current October 31 Brexit deadline, the PM replied: ‘I’m saying that Parliament will have bags of time to scrutinise the deal that I hope we will be able to do.’
The Prime Minister advised the Queen on August 28 to prorogue Parliament for five weeks, and it was suspended on September 9 until October 14.
Mr Johnson says the five-week suspension is to allow the Government to set out a new legislative agenda in a Queen’s Speech when MPs return to Parliament.
But those who brought legal challenges argued the prorogation is designed to prevent parliamentary scrutiny of the UK’s impending exit from the EU on October 31.
The Supreme Court heard appeals over three days arising out of separate legal challenges in England and Scotland, in which leading judges reached different conclusions.
At the High Court in London, Lord Chief Justice Lord Burnett and two other judges rejected campaigner and businesswoman Gina Miller’s challenge, finding that the prorogation was ‘purely political’ and not a matter for the courts.
But in Scotland, a cross-party group of MPs and peers led by SNP MP Joanna Cherry QC won a ruling from the Inner House of the Court of Session that Mr Johnson’s prorogation decision was unlawful because it was ‘motivated by the improper purpose of stymieing Parliament’.
Mrs Miller appealed against the decision of the High Court, asking the Supreme Court to find that the judges who heard her judicial review action ‘erred in law’ in the findings they reached.
The justices have been asked to determine whether Mr Johnson’s advice to the Queen was ‘justiciable’ – capable of challenge in the courts – and, if so, whether it was lawful.
During last week’s hearing, Lord Pannick QC, for Mrs Miller, told the packed court that Mr Johnson’s motive for a five-week suspension was to ‘silence’ Parliament, and that his decision was an ‘unlawful abuse of power’.
Gina Miller’s star QC Lord Pannick arrives for the judgment having argued Parliament should be recalled now
Boris Johnson’s QC Sir James Eadie told the court last week that the PM’s decision to prorogue Parliament was his political right
The 11 Supreme Court judges who ruled on the key Brexit case
Lady Hale, Lord Reed, Lord Carnwath, Lord Lloyd-Jones, Lord Hodge, Lord Wilson, Lady Arden, Lady Black, Lord Sales, Lord Kerr and Lord Kitchin will make the final ruling in the Supreme Court (pictured top left to bottom right)
These are the 11 Supreme Court judges who considered the legal challenges to Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s decision to suspend Parliament:
– Lady Hale, 74, was appointed the first female president of the Supreme Court in 2017 after a varied career as an academic lawyer, law reformer and judge.
A long-standing champion of diversity in the judiciary, she became the first female justice of the court in October 2009, and was appointed deputy president in June 2013.
During her time as deputy president, Yorkshire-born Lady Hale ruled on numerous high-profile cases, including the Brexit appeal.
– Lord Reed, 63, was appointed deputy president of the Supreme Court in June last year and will replace Lady Hale when she retires in January.
One of the court’s two Scottish justices, he previously served as a judge in Scotland and sometimes sits as a judge at the European Court of Human Rights and the Hong Kong Court of Final Appeal.
He was educated at the universities of Edinburgh and Oxford before qualifying as an advocate in Scotland and a barrister in England and Wales.
– Lord Kerr, 71, is the first justice of the court to come from Northern Ireland, where he served as Lord Chief Justice from 2004 to 2009.
Educated at St Colman’s College, Newry, and Queen’s University, Belfast, he was called to the Bar of Northern Ireland in 1970, and to the Bar of England and Wales in 1974.
– Lord Wilson, 74, was appointed in 2009, having previously been a judge in the High Court’s family division and the Court of Appeal.
– Lord Carnwath, 74, studied at Cambridge and was called to the Bar in 1968. He served as Attorney General to the Prince of Wales from 1988 to 1994.
While a judge of the Chancery Division, he was also chairman of the Law Commission and, between 2007 and 2012, was Senior President of Tribunals.
– Lord Hodge, 66, the court’s other Scottish justice, was previously the Scottish judge in Exchequer Causes, one of the Scottish intellectual property judges, a judge in the Lands Valuation Appeal Court and a commercial judge.
– Lady Black, 65, a justice since 2017, carried out a broad range of civil and criminal work during her early career as a barrister before specialising in family law.
She has served as a High Court judge and Lady Justice of Appeal.
Lady Black taught law at Leeds Polytechnic in the 1980s, was a founding author of the definitive guide to family law practice in England and Wales, and continues to serve as a consulting editor.
– Lord Lloyd-Jones, 67, was born and brought up in Pontypridd, South Wales, where his father was a school teacher, and is the court’s first justice to come from Wales.
A Welsh speaker, he was appointed to the High Court in 2005, and acted as adviser to the court in the Pinochet litigation before the House of Lords.
– Lady Arden, 72, who grew up in Liverpool, began her judicial career in 1993 after working as a barrister, QC, and Attorney General of the Duchy of Lancaster.
She became a member of the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague in 2011, and sits as a judge of the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg.
– Lord Kitchin, 64, was called to the Bar in 1977 and his practice covered intellectual property, including patents, trademarks, copyright, designs and trade secrets.
He has also served as a High Court judge and as a Lord Justice of Appeal.
– Lord Sales, 57, is the youngest of the court’s justices and was appointed in January, having worked as a barrister and QC before his appointment to the High Court in 2008.
He was vice-president of the Investigatory Powers Tribunal, served as deputy chairman of the Boundary Commission for England and was appointed as a Lord Justice of Appeal.