A call for British Prime Minister Boris Johnson to resign following a Scottish court ruling that his suspension of Parliament was unlawful was made on Wednesday by a leading Conservative politician.
There have been a variety of reactions after three appeal court judges in Scotland ruled that advice given by the British government to Queen Elizabeth II was illegal.
Britain’s former Attorney General Dominic Grieve was reported by the Daily Telegraph to have called on Johnson to resign “if he misled the Queen.”
The Daily Express said Grieve’s comments came in what will be seen as a major win for campaigners against Britain leaving the European Union (EU).
Downing Street said it was disappointed by today’s court decision, and will appeal to the Supreme Court, the highest law court in Britain.
“The Supreme Court will now rule on the matter on Tuesday and the government will abide by that decision,” said a government spokesperson.
The Supreme Court in London announced on Wednesday afternoon that Lady Hale, president of the court as well as eight law lords (House of Lords members appointed to perform its legal work) will meet on Sept. 17 to hear the Brexit-related judicial review cases.
Following the ruling in Scotland, a number of MPs started to return to the Houses of Parliament, but the government said the House of Commons remains suspended following the start of its five-week closure earlier this week.
“The UK government needs to bring forward a strong domestic legislative agenda. Proroguing Parliament is the legal and necessary way of delivering this,” said the spokesperson.
There has also been criticism after the impartiality of the three Scottish judges was called into question by a source at 10 Downing Street.
Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon reacted to the accusations made by the Downing Street source — who accused the judges of political bias — saying it was “pitiful, pathetic and desperate.”
Scotland’s highest court ruled on Wednesday that Johnson’s advice to Queen Elizabeth II to suspend Parliament had been unlawful.
The ruling added that all three First Division judges decided that the PM’s advice to the British monarch was motivated by the improper purpose of stymying Parliament and that it, and what has followed from it, is unlawful.
Tommy Sheppard, Scottish Nationalist Party (SNP) MP at Westminster, said: “The buck stops with Boris Johnson. It is dictatorial and dangerous for the prime minister or his office to be questioning the integrity and independence of the Scottish courts, just because he doesn’t like what they’ve ruled. He should apologise immediately.”
Tim Brake, Brexit spokesman for the minority Liberal Democrats at Westminster, said: “The decision today is highly embarrassing for Boris Johnson and his government. The implications of this decision made by the Scottish courts should not be underestimated. The shutdown of Parliament has been found unlawful and the government must now act accordingly.”
Away from the political arena, Catherine Haddon, a senior fellow at the Institute for Government, said that while the ruling found that Johnson’s advice to the Queen on prorogation was unlawful, it does not currently change the prorogation itself.
On her social media site, Haddon said: “Regardless of the final outcome, it is a pretty uncomfortable position for the Palace. HM (Queen Elizabeth II) acts on the advice of her prime minister. For a court to rule that advice was unlawful, even if the ruling is later rejected, opens up questions about how that advice is given. She has to be able to trust No.10.”