Jonathan Edwards - Herald Column

The Prime Minister Misled the Queen, He Should Resign

Every week is a big week in politics these days, but this week’s unanimous decision by all 11 Judges of the Supreme Court to declare the decision of the British Government to suspend the House of Commons as unlawful will reverberate in history.

Essentially the decision of the Court confirmed one simple fact settled by the end of the English Civil War in 1649 - that within the British political system, Parliament is sovereign. Not the Head of State (the Queen), and not the British Government as the Executive.

What the British Government endeavoured to do by suspending the House of Commons and House of Lords was create a new worrying principle, that the Executive was sovereign. This would have unleashed a new convention wide open to abuse by the populist politicians which make up the current British Cabinet and their more extreme and dangerous counterparts in the Brexit Party. Critically it would have turned the Commons to all intents and purposes into a pointless talking shop, unable to hold the government of the day to account.

I was proud therefore to lend my support to the outstanding SNP MP, Joanna Cherry QC, as a petitioner in the case brought before the Scottish Courts which then made its way to the Supreme Court.

The judgement effectively found that the Prime Minister had misled the Queen about the reasons for its decision to suspend Parliament. In any normal functioning modern democracy, if the political leader of the State had been found to mislead the Head of State by the highest court in the land, it would be a clear resignation matter. It says everything about the inherent arrogance of the current Prime Minister that he tried to brush off the judgement as some sort of usual occurrence. If he had a shred of integrity he would have resigned.

On returning to Westminster I probed the Attorney General on whether he had been asked to provide legal advice on how to find a route around the so-called Benn Act that I co-sponsored earlier this month which stopped a kamikaze no deal Brexit in law. His answer was less than convincing.

The Tories were once known for two things. The alleged party of economic competence and the defenders of the rule of law. Their handling of Brexit has blown a hole through both claims leaving the very simple question – what’s the point of the Conservative party?

Showing 3 reactions

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  • Simon Ford
    commented 2019-10-03 22:39:10 +0100
    I, too, was apalled by Johnson’s lack of contrition.
    A unanimous verdict by the panel of 11 Supreme Court judges.
    To say “I disagree” smacks of an incredible arrogance, or a stupdity akin to “Newton, piffle, what does he know about gravity?”.
  • Tony Graf
    commented 2019-10-03 18:44:20 +0100
    But is it still what most people want now we understand what it means?
  • Michael Cape
    commented 2019-10-03 17:22:10 +0100
    I have commented on your posts before and not had a reply. This is similar to the referendum where the result wasnt too your liking therefore you and other “remoaners” are doing all you can to prevent what the majority of people want.

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