Boris Johnson faced perhaps the biggest defeat of his premiership on Tuesday morning, after supreme court judges unanimously ruled that his five-week prorogation of parliament is unlawful.
Whilst the judges stopped short of deeming the advice given by Johnson to the Queen to be improper, it was stated on Tuesday that the prorogation was “void and of no effect.”
Judges ruled on Tuesday morning that the prime minister’s decision to prorogue parliament at the height of the Brexit crisis could be subject to judicial review, overturning the previous ruling of the high court in London.
Following this, Lady Hale, the president of the supreme court, announced: “This court has … concluded that the prime minister’s advice to Her Majesty [ to suspend parliament] was unlawful, void and of no effect. This means that the order in council to which it led was also unlawful, void and of no effect should be quashed.
“This means that when the royal commissioners walked into the House of Lords [to prorogue parliament] it was as if they walked in with a blank sheet of paper. The prorogation was also void and of no effect. Parliament has not been prorogued.”
Lawyers for the businesswoman and campaigner Gina Miller, who, along with the Scottish claimants, brought the case to the supreme court, said on Tuesday: “We are glad that the court recognised the threat to the rule of law caused by a prorogation based on misleading advice given to the Queen.”
Speaker of the House of Commons John Bercow has now announced that parliament will sit from 11.30 on Wednesday morning, for urgent questions to ministers.