REPORT: Rees-Mogg Called Supreme Court Ruling ‘Constitutional Coup’

Conservative MP Jacob Rees-Mogg takes questions after a joint press conference of the European Research group and Global Britain in central London on November 20, 2018. - Eurosceptic members of May's divided party seized the moment to launch a leadership challenge, but have yet to muster the support needed for …
DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS/AFP/Getty Images

Leader of the House of Commons Jacob Rees-Mogg has reportedly accused Supreme Court judges of a “constitutional coup” after they ruled Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s suspension of parliament “unlawful”.

The accusations levelled against the judges were made during a Cabinet conference telephone call on Tuesday, according to sources speaking to the Daily Mail.

The Brexiteer is also reported to have said that the Supreme Court had undertaken “the most extraordinary overthrowing of the constitution” and accused the senior judges of being wrong, saying “some elements of the judgment are factually inaccurate”.

On Tuesday morning, the Supreme Court, the highest court in the United Kingdom, ruled that Prime Minister Johnson’s decision to prorogue (suspend) parliament was unlawful, with Lady Hale saying “it had the effect of frustrating or preventing Parliament from carrying out its constitutional functions without justification”.

Mr Johnson denied any wrong-doing, saying after the verdict, “I strongly disagree with this decision of the Supreme Court,” and also implied that the court case was not about preserving parliamentary democracy, but had been prompted by those who want to “frustrate Brexit”.

The prime minister returned to the UK on Wednesday morning after returning from the United Nations General Assembly in New York City, and is unlikely to be preparing to apologise to the House of Commons for the so-called ‘unlawful’ prorogation.

Michael Gove, the minister in charge of Brexit preparations, also would not bend to pressure from Remainers to apologise, telling the BBC this morning: “I don’t think the Government should apologise also for saying that we are attempting to honour the democratic will of the British people.”

It was reported last night that advice on suspending parliament had come from Attorney General Geoffrey Cox, the chief legal adviser to the government, who also is alleged to have said during the conversation that the court had overturned decades of precedent, saying he did not believe that “any prorogation over the past 50-100 years would have survived today’s judgment”.

The ruling has raised questions of whether the Supreme Court had extended its reach into political matters, with a senior ally of Mr Johnson telling the Daily Mail:  “The effect of this is to pose the question, who runs this country? Are the courts saying they want to run the country now?”

The Supreme Court was only established in 2009, performing the formerly judicial functions of the House of Lords, after being created by the Tony Blair government in 2003. Reports at the time of its opening said that law lords were unhappy with its establishment, considering it ‘political vanity’ and not a properly considered piece of constitutional reform.

The Supreme Court is becoming a sacred cow in Britain which is beyond criticism; former Conservative MP Lord Peter Lilly however wrote for Brexit Central that “we are entitled to criticise this judge-made law”.

Stating that he had been informed by acquaintances of some of the Supreme Court judges that they had “expressed strident disbelief that anyone could support Brexit”, Lord Lilly warned of the problem of a politicised senior court that could make determinations on British laws.

The Brexiteer wrote: “The court’s failure to consider recent statute or precedents is alarming in itself. But it is even more alarming as a symptom of judges taking upon themselves the right to derive new laws from vague and selected abstract principles.

“That can only lead to politicisation of judges, their selection on the basis of their political philosophy and the consequent loss of public respect for the judiciary and the law.”

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