Farage Calls Prorogation ‘Worst Political Decision Ever’: Reactions to Supreme Court Ruling

Anti-Brexit campaigner Gina Miller smiles as she waits to speak to the media outside the Supreme court in central London on September 24, 2019 after the judgement of the court on the legality of Boris Johnson's advice to the Queen to suspend parliament for more than a month, as the …
TOLGA AKMEN/AFP/Getty Images

Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage has hit out at the Conservative government after the Supreme Court ruled that Boris Johnson’s suspension of parliament was unlawful, calling for the prime minister’s chief advisor to be sacked.

After the Supreme Court ruled that the suspension of parliament was “unlawful”, Mr Farage said: “The calling of a Queen’s Speech and prorogation is the worst political decision ever. Dominic Cummings must go.”

The chief advisor is widely seen as the originator of the idea to suspend parliament until the middle of October, resulting in Remainers claiming they were intentionally robbed of time to finish what they failed to do in three years of sitting in the House of Commons, which is stopping Brexit from taking place.

While criticising the political decision of Johnson’s government, the Brexit Party leader also condemned “the very idea” of judges “interfering in a political process against the voters”, calling it “abhorrent” in comments made to Breitbart London before the decision of the Supreme Court’s ruling was delivered.

Levelling criticism at Remainer MPs, he continued: “We have a Parliament that twice has stopped us from having a General Election and instead we have a Supreme Court making a decision as to whether Boris Johnson remains prime minister; virtually, that’s how important the ruling is.

“I don’t like it one little bit and I think our whole constitution has been thrown completely up into the air by Speaker Bercow and others.”

Brexit Party chairman and MEP Richard Tice also criticised the prime minister for his choice of chief advisor, predicting that “we are not leaving in October 31st. Boris will now have to ask for an extension and the EU can dictate their own terms. Prepare for an early election in November.”

Journalist and author Peter Hitchens said that while he “disapproved” of the prorogation, he called the “interference in Parliamentary politics by committee of lawyers” he sees as a counterfeit Supreme Court a “very dangerous development”.

The Tories have been mostly silent in response, with reports that Conservative whips have instructed MPs to refrain from making remarks on social media or traditional media; however, Tory Brexiteer Andrew Bridgen said the ruling was “the worst possible decision for our democracy” and an “absolute disgrace”.

Criticising the Remainer MPs who pushed for prorogation to be overturned but who refused to back a General Election, Mr Bridgen told the BBC: “I think what we have got is a Parliament is completely out of step with the sentiment of the country. They are holding our democracy to ransom. They are completely ignoring the vote we had in 2016 to Leave the European Union. It is an absolute disgrace as far as I’m concerned.

“What we are going to see now is the Speaker John Bercow taking control of Parliament and playing to the Remainers’ tune until the 31st of October when he resigns.”

Remainers were jubilant, however, claiming that their return to parliament to “scrutinise” Brexit was a victory for democracy.

Jeremy Corbyn took to the stage at Labour Party conference in Brighton and said parliament must recalled immediately, adding Johnson should “consider his position”, in effect calling for him to resign. The sentiment was echoed by Liberal Democrat leader Jo Swinson who said Johnson was “not fit to be prime minister”.

Anti-Brexit campaigner Gina Miller, who led the successful Supreme Court challenge against the government, called it a “win for parliamentary sovereignty”, saying: “MPs must get back and be brave and bold in holding this unscrupulous government to account.”

While in a statement, the Remain-backing Speaker of the House of Commons John Bercow said he “welcomed” the Supreme Court’s judgement, saying “they have vindicated the right and duty of Parliament to meet at this crucial time to scrutinise the executive and hold Ministers to account”.

Later in the afternoon, Bercow said: “I have instructed the House authorities to prepare not for the recall — the prorogation is unlawful and is void — to prepare for resumption of the business of the House of Commons. Specifically, I have instructed the House authorities to undertake such steps that are necessary as to ensure that the House of Commons sits tomorrow and that it does so at 11:30am.”

The government is yet to formally respond, but an official with Boris Johnson, who is in New York City where he is attending the UN General Assembly — has said it would take time to process the “extraordinary” ruling, with a response to come at an unspecified time.

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