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Boris Johnson’s suspension of UK parliament ‘unlawful’, Scottish court rules

A Scottish court has ruled that UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s decision to suspend parliament was unlawful, but has not ordered the suspension overturned.

Judges said Britain’s Supreme Court would need to make the final decision.

A group of about 70 politicians are challenging the government’s decision to prorogue, or suspend, parliament, for five weeks until October 14 — just over two weeks before Britain is due to leave the European Union (EU).

Led by Scottish National Party (SNP) MP Joanna Cherry, they argue Mr Johnson is trying to evade democratic scrutiny.

“We are calling for parliament to be recalled immediately,” Ms Cherry told Sky News after the verdict by Scotland’s Inner Court of Session.

“The highest court in Scotland has ruled that it’s unlawful unanimously. And in this wonderful equal union which we’re told so much about, which is the United Kingdom, then the Scottish court has jurisdiction over the Westminster parliament.”

A UK Government spokesperson 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.”

Mr Johnson claims he took the action so he could start afresh on his domestic agenda at a new session of Parliament next month.

But the suspension also gives him a break from rebel politicians as he plots his next move to break the political deadlock and lead Britain out of the EU.

Last week, a court in Edinburgh rejected the politicians’ challenge, saying it was a matter for politicians, not the courts, to decide. But that was overturned Wednesday on appeal.

Jolyon Maugham, a lawyer who is part of the claim, said: “We believe that the effect of the decision is that Parliament is no longer prorogued”.


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