Brexit Committee chairman Hilary Benn has called on the Queen to issue a Royal Proclamation under the 1797 Meeting of Parliament Act which would bring Parliament back into session. The 222-year-old law gives the monarch powers to issue a proclamation giving their intention that Parliament should meet to dispatch business.
Mr Benn tweeted: “Following today’s unprecedented Court of Session judgement that the prorogation of Parliament was unlawful, the way to bring Parliament back is for there to be a Royal Proclamation under the 1797 Meeting of Parliament Act.”
Scotland’s highest civil court ruled Mr Johnson’s controversial suspension of Parliament was unlawful.
A panel of three judges at the Court of Session found in favour of a cross-party group of politicians who were challenged the Prime Minister’s move.
The judges agreed he was attempting to prevent Parliament holding the Government to account ahead of Brexit.
Shadow Brexit secretary Sir Keir Starmer said the Prime Minister should recall Parliament immediately.
Sir Keir said it was “really rare” for the courts to intervene in the political process in this way and that the judges’ language was “very strong”.
He said: “I think the right thing for the Prime Minister now is to recall parliament, this afternoon or tomorrow morning, so that we can get back, do our job, and look at the judgment, as a Parliament, and decide what ought to happen next.”
But the judges failed to issue an injunction ordering the Government to reconvene Parliament, sparking a row over whether the decision meant MPs could go back to the House of Commons.
BBC political editor Laura Kuenssberg said members of the cross-party group MPs and peers who brought the case at the Court of Session in Edinburgh believe the ruling means technically that Parliament is no longer suspended.
But a spokesman for the Commons Speaker’s office said: “Any decision to accelerate the meeting of Parliament during prorogation is a matter for the Government.”
Shadow attorney general Shami Chakrabarti said: “This ruling shows that, despite what Boris Johnson has spent his privileged life thinking, he is not above the law.
“Labour will not allow his elitist shutdown of Parliament to enable him to dodge scrutiny and force through a disastrous no deal Brexit.”
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SNP Westminster leader Ian Blackford tweeted: “This is great news. This battle has further to run but my message to Boris Johnson is you are playing fast and loose with the law.
“You have acted in an anti-democratic manner and need to respond by recalling Parliament.”
Former Tory attorney general Dominic Grieve said Mr Johnson should resign if he has misled the Queen about his reasons for prorogation.
Mr Grieve, one of the 21 MPs who had the whip removed last week after rebelling over Brexit, said: “If it were to be the case that the Government had misled the Queen about the reasons for suspending parliament, and the motives for it, that would be a very serious matter indeed.
“Indeed, in my view, it would then be the moment for Mr Johnson to resign, and very swiftly.”
Mr Grieve tabled a motion passed by MPs on Monday demanding the release of private messages from Mr Johnson’s aides relating to the prorogation of Parliament.
In the debate he said Government insiders told him the affair “smacked of scandal”.
A Government spokesman said: “We are disappointed by today’s decision and will appeal to the UK supreme court.
“The UK Government needs to bring forward a strong domestic legislative agenda.
“Proroguing Parliament is the legal and necessary way of delivering this.”
The Labour Party’s civil war deepened on Wednesday when the party’s leader insisted he would allow his MPs a free vote on a second ballot on the UK’s membership of the European Union. Speaking to Sky News, Jeremy Corbyn said: “Labour will do everything to prevent a no deal exit from the European Union.
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