Date
21 October 2019
Boris Johnson has faced accusations that he misled Queen Elizabeth over his reasons for suspending parliament. Photo: Reuters
Boris Johnson has faced accusations that he misled Queen Elizabeth over his reasons for suspending parliament. Photo: Reuters

UK’s Johnson denies lying to Queen over parliament suspension

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson denied lying to Queen Elizabeth over the reasons for suspending the parliament after a court ruled his decision was unlawful.

Scotland’s highest court of appeal ruled on Wednesday that the parliament suspension was not lawful and that the move was intended to stymie lawmakers.

The ruling prompted Johnson’s opponents to question whether he had lied to Elizabeth, who must formally order the prorogation.

“Absolutely not,” the PM said on Thursday when asked by a TV reporter if he had misled the queen, Reuters reports.

Johnson said the current session of parliament was longer than any since the English Civil war in the 17th century, adding that lawmakers would have plenty of time to again discuss Brexit after an EU summit on Oct. 17-18.

He says parliament was suspended to allow the government to present its legislative program.

Parliament was prorogued – suspended – on Monday until Oct. 14, a move Johnson’s opponents said was designed to thwart their attempts to scrutinize his plans for leaving the European Union and to allow him to push through Brexit on Oct. 31, with or without an exit deal to smooth the way.

Before parliament was suspended, opposition lawmakers and rebels from Johnson’s Conservative Party passed legislation that would make the PM ask for a three-month extension to Britain’s EU membership if parliament has not either approved a deal by Oct. 19 or consented to leaving without one by then.

Johnson has said he would rather be “dead in a ditch” than delay Britain’s exit. The campaigners behind the successful Scottish court case said they had begun new legal proceedings that would compel him to do so.

Johnson says his aim is to get a deal and has repeatedly said he will seek to get an agreement at the EU summit to remove the Irish border backstop, an insurance agreement to prevent the return of border controls between Northern Ireland and the Irish Republic after Brexit.

He said the government is waiting to hear an appeal next week in the Supreme Court against the Scottish court’s ruling on the suspension of parliament.

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