Boris Johnson's suspension of Parliament is unlawful, Supreme Court rules

By Rob Picheta and Ivana Kottasová, CNN

Updated 4:53 p.m. ET, September 24, 2019
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6:31 a.m. ET, September 24, 2019

Did Boris Johnson lie to the Queen?

Boris Johnson With Queen Elizabeth II when he became Prime Minister.
Boris Johnson With Queen Elizabeth II when he became Prime Minister. Victoria Jones - WPA Pool/Getty Images

The Supreme Court did not overtly say that Boris Johnson lied to the Queen about the reasons for his prorogation of Parliament, but several lawmakers have already said that is the implication of its judgement.

Importantly, the judges ruled on the effect of the prorogation rather than attempting to define the motive, which allowed it to deliver a devastating judgement without explicitly accusing Johnson of lying to the monarch.

Because the effect of the suspension was unlawful, the judges did not need to consider Johnson's motive.

Here's the key part of the ruling:

"It is impossible for us to conclude, on the evidence which has been put before us, that there was any reason - let alone a good reason - to advise Her Majesty to prorogue Parliament for five weeks, from 9th or 12th September until 14th October. We cannot speculate, in the absence of further evidence, upon what such reasons might have been. It follows that the decision was unlawful."

The court did, however, uphold the decision taken by Scotland's highest civil court, which went further in its ruling by saying that Johnson did mislead the Queen.

6:24 a.m. ET, September 24, 2019

Nigel Farage says Boris Johnson's *adviser* must resign

Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage has called Boris Johnson's decision to suspend Parliament "the worst political decision ever."

But rather than criticizing the Prime Minister, he urged Johnson's de facto chief of staff Dominic Cummings to step down.

Cummings is widely seen as the mastermind behind Johnson's Brexit strategy.

6:26 a.m. ET, September 24, 2019

Opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn calls on Boris Johnson to reconsider his position

Corbyn at the Labour Party conference.
Corbyn at the Labour Party conference. Dan Kitwood/Getty Images

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn spoke at his party's conference in Brighton, England shortly after the news of the ruling broke.

He says Boris Johnson's decision to shut down Parliament "demonstrates a contempt for democracy and abuse of power by him."

Corbyn says he will be in touch with the Speaker of the House of Commons immediately to demand that Parliament is recalled, and “demand that he obeys the law” forcing him to extend Article 50 if he can’t form a Brexit deal.

“A Labour government would want to be held to account -- we wouldn’t bypass democracy,” he adds.

“I invite Boris Johnson, in the historic words, to consider his position and become the shortest serving Prime Ministerthere’s ever been.”

“Obey the law, take no deal off the table, and have an election tot elect a government that respects democracy," Corbyn concludes.

6:17 a.m. ET, September 24, 2019

Watch back the Supreme Court's historic ruling

Watch the moment the Supreme Court's President Lady Hale announced its momentous judgement below.

The court went further than even most of Johnson's critics had expected -- by not only deciding the prorogation was unlawful, but deeming that it had absolutely no effect whatsoever.

6:12 a.m. ET, September 24, 2019

We've played a blinder, says opposition lawmaker at party conference

From CNN's Eliza Mackintosh in Brighton, England

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn at his party's conference on Tuesday.
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn at his party's conference on Tuesday. Dan Kitwood/Getty Images

Massive applause broke out in the New Statesman fringe event at the Labour Party conference when someone in the audience shouted “unlawful” as the Supreme Court judgement was handed down.

Reacting to news, a smiling Emily Thornberry MP, shadow foreign secretary, said: “I’m not even prorogued!”

When it was pointed out that the Tories could lose a lot of money if their conference is affected by the lifting of the prorogation, Thornberry reacted: “What a shame.”

“I think we’ve played a blinder in terms of parliamentary tactics, and we’ve done it as well as we can, and I hope we continue to do so.”

6:10 a.m. ET, September 24, 2019

Pound strengthens after court ruling

From Charles Riley, CNN Business

The British pound strengthened against the US dollar after the UK Supreme Court ruled unanimously that Prime Minister Boris Johnson's decision to suspend Parliament was unlawful.

The currency was trading as much as 0.4% higher in the minutes after the decision was announced, before giving up some of its gains.

The pound's reaction reflects increased optimism that Johnson will be prevented from carrying out his pledge to take Britain out of the European Union on October 31, even without an exit deal that would protect trade.

Crashing out of the European Union would likely produce another sharp decline in the value of the pound.

Most economists say a disorderly break would also plunge the UK into recession and cause a sharp decline in the value of homes in the country.

6:08 a.m. ET, September 24, 2019

Lawmakers respond to ruling calling for the doors of Parliament to reopen

MPs are responding to the Supreme Court's decision, with many calling for Boris Johnson to resign.

Conservative MP Tom Tugendhat, in an apparent show of support for the decision against his party leader, tweeted a picture of himself inside the House of Commons chamber.

Labour's deputy leader Tom Watson said Johnson "should resign."

Backbencher David Lammy agreed:

And the SNP's Westminster leader Ian Blackford said Parliament must reconvene immediately.

6:00 a.m. ET, September 24, 2019

Parliament must reconvene without delay, Speaker says

John Bercow, the Speaker of the House of Commons, has said lawmakers must reconvene "without delay" after the Supreme Court's stunning decision to not only rule Boris Johnson's suspension unlawful, but to quash the prorogation entirely.

In a statement, Bercow said: "I welcome the Supreme Court's judgement that the prorogation of Parliament was unlawful."

"The judges have rejected the Government's claim that closing down Parliament for five weeks was merely standard practice to allow for a new Queen's Speech."

"In reaching their conclusion, they have vindicated the right and duty of Parliament to meet at this crucial time to scrutinise the executive and hold Ministers to account," he added.

As the embodiment of our Parliamentary democracy, the House of Commons must convene without delay. To this end, I will now consult the party leaders as a matter of urgency."
5:57 a.m. ET, September 24, 2019

Boris Johnson must resign, says lawmaker who took the case

Protesters outside the Supreme Court.
Protesters outside the Supreme Court. TOLGA AKMEN/AFP/Getty Images

Joanna Cherry, the lawmaker and lawyer who brought the Scottish case that the Supreme Court has sided with, is making a statement outside the court.

“This is an absolutely momentous decision," she said on the back of the win.

“There is nothing to stop members of Parliament such as myself and my colleagues from resuming immediately” in scrutinizing the government, Cherry adds.

“I am absolutely delighted that the United Kingdom Supreme Court has agreed with Scotland’s Supreme Court," she notes, before addressing Boris Johnson.

“His position is untenable and he should have to guts to do the decent thing and resign," she says.