Glasgow, Scotland- A Scottish court ruled on Wednesday that UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s suspension of Parliament was unlawful.
In a sensational move, three judges sitting in Scotland’s highest court of appeal found in favour of a group of more than 70 parliamentarians who challenged the Conservative leader’s controversial decision to prorogue – or suspend – Parliament for five weeks, which came into effect on Tuesday.
The verdict to support the cross-party group of politicians followed a ruling last week from Edinburgh’s Court of Session, which rejected pleas from the petitioners that the prime minister’s act was illegal because it curtailed parliamentary scrutiny ahead of Britain’s planned withdrawal from the European Union on October 31.
“This is a valid ruling today by the court,” Paul Sweeney, one of the politicians who had put their name to the legal challenge, told news agencies
The Glasgow Labour Party MP added: “It’s a historic constitutional precedent and we await to see the immediate effect. It’s my view that Parliament’s prorogation should now be automatically rescinded.”
But ahead of a scheduled hearing at the UK Supreme Court on September 17, it remains unclear what the immediate impact of the ruling will be.
While the full judgement will be handed down later in the week, the judges had stark words for the British government in a summary of their findings.
They stated the “improper purpose of stymying Parliament” was behind Johnson’s decision – not the stated motivation of introducing a new domestic legislative agenda.
The judges added: “The court will accordingly make an order declaring that the prime minister’s advice to HM the Queen and the prorogation which followed thereon was unlawful and is thus null and of no effect.”