Remainer MPs take selfies in the deserted House of Commons boasting they are ‘reporting for duty’ as they demand Boris Johnson reopen Parliament after a Scottish court rules that the shut down is illegal
- Plymouth MP Luke Pollard entered the empty chamber to make a point
- Other Remainers gathered outside the Palace of Westminster
- Hilary Benn said: ‘We need Parliament sitting now more than ever’
Remainer MPs took selfies in the empty Commons today to show its empty benches as they demanded Boris Johnson reopen Parliament after the Government’s defeat by a Scottish court.
Shadow minister Jonathan Reynolds joked that he was ‘reporting for duty’ as he shared an image of himself on the otherwise unoccupied benches after the dramatic ruling.
He was followed into the chamber by colleagues Luke Pollard and Kevin Brennan for political stunts.
It came as a host of senior Remainer MPs arrived at Parliament to demand the prime minister end the political shutdown after a Scottish court found his decision was unlawful.
Labour shadow minister Mr Pollard posted a picture of himself in the Commons on Twitter, writing: ‘Quietly and peacefully I have gone back to sit in my usual spot in the House of Commons.
‘No shouting or scuffles – just a quiet statement about our democracy. Boris Johnson’s prorogation of Parliament is unlawful.
Labour shadow minister Mr Pollard and MP Kevin Brennan posted pictures in and around the empty House of Commons
More than a dozen including Lib Dem leader Jo Swinson and Labour’s Hilary Benn gathered outside the Palace of Westminster
‘MPs should be here debating the national crisis.’
His colleague Kevin Brennan did the same from the door of the chamber.
More than a dozen including Lib Dem leader Jo Swinson and Labour’s Hilary Benn later gathered outside the Palace of Westminster after the five-week prorogation was ruled illegal by a Scottish court.
Mr Benn told Sky: ‘We need Parliament sitting now more than ever and it is unacceptable that Boris Johnson sent us away.
‘I know the government is appealing the judgement today but frankly they should abandon that and call us back so we can get on with our job.’
The Edinburgh court decided that prorogation was unlawful because the Prime Minister’s intention had been to ‘stymy’ scrutiny of his Brexit policy – not to pave the way for a new legislative programme as he claimed.
The shock outcome sets the stage for a titanic showdown at the Supreme Court in London on Tuesday – with the risk that the Queen will be dragged into the constitutional crisis.
SNP MP Joanna Cherry, pictured centre in Edinburgh today, described the ruling as ‘historic’ and ‘fantastic’
Boris Johnson suffered another setback today as Scottish judges ruled his suspension of Parliament is unlawful. The case is expected to be appealed further at the Supreme Court
As Westminster descended into chaos, Remainers claimed Mr Johnson had ‘deceived’ the monarch and the prorogation of Parliament for five weeks – which happened in the early hours of yesterday morning by Royal proclamation – was now null and void.
And there was more fury after a No10 source reportedly swiped that the Scottish courts had been ‘chosen for a reason’, with Nicola Sturgeon slamming the jibe as ‘pitiful’ and undermining the rule of law.
Attorney General Robert Buckland tried to calm the row by tweeting that he had ‘total confidence’ in the independence of judges, while the PM’s official spokesman repeated the message.
Shadow Brexit secretary Sir Keir Starmer and the SNP’s Joanna Cherry – one of those who brought the case – demanded the Houses be recalled ‘immediately’.
Rebel ringleader Dominic Grieve said Mr Johnson must resign if he misled the Queen about his motives, while Labour’s David Lammy accused him of ‘deceiving’ the monarch.
Meanwhile, union baron Len McCluskey made the extraordinary suggestion that Mr Johnson should be put under ‘citizens arrest’.