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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3:50 p.m. ET, September 24, 2019

Johnson called the Queen after the ruling

From CNN's Livvy Doherty

Prime Minister Boris Johnson spoke with the Queen on the phone from New York on Tuesday, according to a Downing Street spokesperson.

The call followed the UK Supreme Court ruling that Johnson’s advice to the Queen to prorogue the Parliament was unlawful. 

Details of their call will not be released, the spokesperson said.

3:34 p.m. ET, September 24, 2019

How the UK's Supreme Court tiptoed around the Queen

As far as dodges go, the one made by the United Kingdom's Supreme Court on Tuesday was, well, supreme.

The country's highest court managed to stay clear of accusing Prime Minister Boris Johnson of misleading Queen Elizabeth II — yet still ruled on Tuesday morning that his decision to suspend Parliament was unlawful.

Get the whole story here.

The Queen greets Boris Johnson in the Buckingham Palace.
The Queen greets Boris Johnson in the Buckingham Palace. Photo: Victoria Jones/WPA Pool/Getty Images

3:12 p.m. ET, September 24, 2019

Ireland's prime minister says a "very wide gap remains" in Brexit talks

Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar met with Prime Minister Boris Johnson on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in New York City.

The border between Ireland, which will remain EU member, and Northern Ireland, a part of the United Kingdom, is the biggest sticking point in the Brexit negotiations.

Varadkar said there's still a "wide gap" between the EU and the UK.

3:10 p.m. ET, September 24, 2019

The government "acted in good faith," attorney general's office says

The UK Attorney General's office said the government "acted in good faith and in the belief that its approach was both lawful and constitutional" when it decided to suspend Parliament.

Attorney General Geoffrey Cox is the government's chief legal advisor. As such, he would have likely played a role in Prime Minister Boris Johnson's decision, advising him whether or not he believed the prorogation was legal.

UK Attorney General Geoffrey Cox.
UK Attorney General Geoffrey Cox.  Photo: DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS/AFP/Getty Images

Cox told the government the move would be legal, Sky News reported on Tuesday. CNN could not independently verify that claim.

Cox's office did not address that question. In the statement, it said:

These are complex matters on which senior and distinguished lawyers have disagreed.
The Divisional Court led by the Lord Chief Justice agreed unanimously with the government’s legal position, as did the Outer House in Scotland.
We are disappointed that in the end the Supreme Court took a different view. We respect the judgement of the Supreme Court.
2:45 p.m. ET, September 24, 2019

How long can Boris Johnson stay in his job?

Analysis from CNN's Luke McGee

At the end of the worst day in his professional life, many in the UK are asking: How long can the British Prime Minister stay in his job?

It's a reasonable question to ask of the British Prime Minister. The man who can barely go a week without suffering some kind of political setback faced his biggest public embarrassment on Tuesday, as the UK's highest court ruled that his decision to unilaterally suspend Parliament was unlawful. Worse, he might have misled the Queen in doing so.

Under normal circumstances, you'd expect leader so under fire to realize their time was up. But Brexit has created some pretty abnormal circumstances in Westminster.

Read the full analysis here.

1:01 p.m. ET, September 24, 2019

Johnson getting into Trumpian territory, former leadership rival says

Boris Johnson will not be able to force through a no-deal Brexit without Parliament’s consent, former Conservative lawmaker Rory Stewart has told CNN.

Stewart told Richard Quest the Supreme Court verdict “exposed the fundamental flaw” in Johnson’s strategy. “He somehow convinced himself that he could suspend Parliament, ignore Parliament and try to ram it through.”

“Our elected body is Parliament,” added Stewart, who challenged Johnson in this summer's Conservative leadership contest. “Parliament is sovereign ... if Parliament doesn’t want a no-deal Brexit, you can’t have a no-deal Brexit.”

Stewart also accused Trump of “getting into Trumpian territory ... he’s now doing things which are very very unprecedented.”

He added that Johnson should resign. But he went on: “I ran against him in the leadership, he’s just fired me form his political party and I think he’s a dangerous man. So obviously that would be my view, but obviously I’m not the person to ask.”

Stewart was one of several lawmakers expelled form the Conservative Party by Johnson after voting to block a no-deal split.

12:38 p.m. ET, September 24, 2019

Trump says Johnson won't resign

President Donald Trump played down suggestions that UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson should resign after he was found to have unlawfully suspended Parliament.

Asked how he responded to calls for him to go, Johnson told reporters at the UN General Assembly, “we respect the judiciary in our country,” before adding that he disagrees "profoundly" with the Supreme Court's ruling.

“That was a very nasty question,” Trump added when Johnson finished speaking. “I know him well, he’s not going anywhere,” the President said.

Trump also said Johnson’s difficulties are “pretty much what you expected” from the Brexit process, and added he will make great progress on Brexit come October and November -- to which Johnson quickly interjected, “October! October!”

Trump then repeated his false claim that he had predicted the result of the Brexit vote in Britain before polls closed. “I was there, I happened to be there the day of the vote ... I even made a prediction. It was a correct prediction,” Trump said. Trump had in fact been in the UK the day after the result.

The President said he had "no reaction" to the Supreme Court ruling, calling it "another day at the office for Johnson."

He then discussed his own administration's "0 for 7" start in the Supreme Court, before he got a "great streak going" with the body, suggesting the same turnaround will come for Johnson.

"We're full of respect for the justices of our Supreme Court," Johnson interrupted, prompting Trump to laugh and tap him on the shoulder. "He's being very nice to the courts," Trump said with a smile.

12:23 p.m. ET, September 24, 2019

Corbyn makes his election pitch

From CNN's Eliza Mackintosh in Brighton, England

Jeremy Corbyn has now moved onto Labour's domestic agenda, setting out his pitch for an early election that looks more likely by the day.

"Nothing matters more than the climate emergency," he says, praising Greta Thunberg and other young activists who have been staging strikes in recent months.

"We're seeing ice caps melting, coral reefs dissolving, wildfires in the Arctic Circle and Brazil's far-right leader President Bolsonaro fiddles while the Amazon burns."

"Real security doesn't come from belligerent posturing or reckless military interventions. It comes from international cooperation and diplomacy, and addressing the root causes of the threats we all face."

He also discusses Labour's domestic policy, to applause from the hall.

11:53 a.m. ET, September 24, 2019

Johnson wants a Trump-deal Brexit, Corbyn says

From CNN's Eliza Mackintosh in Brighton, England

Jeremy Corbyn acknowledges applause at the start of his speech.
Jeremy Corbyn acknowledges applause at the start of his speech. DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS/AFP/Getty Images

"I don't think he's fit to be prime minister," Jeremy Corbyn says of Boris Johnson during his keynote conference speech.

"This crisis can only be solved with a general election. That election needs to take place as soon as this government's threat of a disastrous no deal is off the table," Corbyn says, restating his party's position on a snap poll.

Corbyn then warns of the effects of a no-deal Brexit, saying it would leave Britain subservient to the United States in trade talks.

Johnson wants to put Britain "at the mercy of Donald Trump," Corbyn says. "A no-deal Brexit is in reality a Trump-deal Brexit,"

"That would be the opposite of taking back control," says Corbyn, adding that Trump us "delighted" to have Boris Johnson "in his back pocket."

He also nods to his own party's Brexit policy, which many observers have pointed out has been anything but unified.

Corbyn promises a second confirmatory vote, featuring two options: "credible leave alongside remain."

"That's not complicated," he says, adding that he will carry out whatever the people decide.