Gina Miller at High Court ahead of bid to block Parliament suspension

Firebrand Remainer Gina Miller arrives at London’s High Court to launch legal bid beside John Major to BLOCK Boris Johnson’s suspension of Parliament

  • Gina Miller has launched one of three legal challenges to Parliament suspension
  • She has been backed by Sir John Major and Labour’s Shami Chakrabarti
  • Three of England’s most senior judges will today hear the constitutional case 

Pro-EU campaigner Gina Miller has arrived at the High Court in London as she and former PM John Major begin their legal challenge to Boris Johnson’s decision to suspend Parliament.

Mr Johnson sparked controversy last week when he had the Queen sign off his plan to prorogue Parliament, so he can set out a new set of policies when it returns.

But his opponents say the move was designed to prevent Parliament from stopping a no-deal Brexit at the end of October.

Three legal cases were then launched against the move – one in Scotland, one in Northern Ireland, and one in London.

Yesterday, a judge in Edinburgh kicked out the Scottish claim, finding that the issue was political are not a decision for the courts.

Gina Miller, who dramatically altered the course of Brexit when she brought a case which led to three judges ruling Parliament must vote on the process, launched the case against suspension in London.

Former prime minister Sir John Major and three other parties have been given the go-ahead to join her legal action. 

Gina Miller arrives at the High Court in London today ahead of her bid to overturn the suspension of Parliament

Former PM John Major has also joined the legal case against Boris Johnson’s suspension of Parliament, which is due to take place for five weeks ahead of a Queen’s Speech on 14 October

Their bid to challenge the legality of the prorogation of Parliament will be heard by  three of the most senior judges in Britain today; the Lord Chief Justice Lord Burnett, Master of the Rolls Sir Terence Etherton and the President of the Queen’s Bench Division Dame Victoria Sharp.  

Lord Advocate James Wolffe QC, who is Scotland’s senior law officer, the Welsh Government and shadow attorney general Shami Chakrabarti have also been given permission to intervene in writing.

The three judges will initially consider whether the case can proceed – if they rule that it can, then a full airing of the issue will follow immediately.

A spokesman for the judiciary said on Wednesday: ‘The court will consider the request for the case to be heard, and if it agrees, a full hearing will follow the same day. The hearing is listed for a full day.

‘There will be no witnesses and submissions will be made by legal representatives.’

Explaining the procedure, the spokesman added: ‘Judicial review is a type of court proceeding in which a judge reviews the lawfulness of a decision or action made by a public body and is a challenge to the way in which a decision has been made, rather than the rights and wrongs of the conclusion reached.’

Labour’s shadow Attorney General, Baroness Shami Chakrabarti, is a party to the case

The case is being heard by (left to right) Master of the Rolls Sir Terence Etherton, Lord Chief Justice Lord Burnett and the President of the Queen’s Bench Division Dame Victoria Sharp

A judge at the Court of Session in Edinburgh ruled on Wednesday that the planned prorogation was lawful.

Lord Doherty said choosing when to prorogue Parliament was for politicians and not the courts, but an appeal against his decision is being heard on Thursday.

He ruled: ‘The power to prorogue is a prerogative power and the Prime Minister had the vires (powers) to advise the sovereign as to its exercise.’

That challenge was brought by a cross-party group of 75 MPs and peers.

A campaigner is bringing a case in Belfast arguing that no-deal could jeopardise the Northern Ireland peace process.

Whatever the outcome of the challenges against the decision to prorogue Parliament, it is likely that the dispute will end up at the UK’s highest court.

A spokeswoman for the Supreme Court in London has said that ‘should any parties choose to appeal to the UK Supreme Court following the prorogation appeal hearings in the lower courts’, the court has set aside September 17 ‘as a date to hear such an appeal’.

After the ruling in Scotland, a UK Government spokesman said: ‘We welcome the court’s decision and hope that those seeking to use the judiciary to frustrate the Government take note and withdraw their cases.’ 


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