PM braced for result of legal challenge to parliament suspension

A judgement in one of several legal challenges against Boris Johnson’s controversial decision to suspend parliament is due later, as the prime minister comes towards the end of a bruising week.

Campaigners have urged judges at the High Court in London to find that the decision to prorogue parliament for an “exceptional” length of time was an “unlawful abuse of power”.

The judicial review application has been brought by businesswoman and anti-Brexit campaigner Gina Miller.

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It is supported by a number of other parties, including former prime minister Sir John Major, who has launched a stinging attack on the PM and his inner circle.

A similar legal challenge in Scotland resulted in the Court of Session in Edinburgh ruling the planned suspension was lawful.

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From next week, parliament will be suspended for five weeks, with a Queen’s Speech setting out the government’s agenda being held on 14 October.

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The prime minister has maintained the decision was taken in order to set out his “exciting agenda” on that date, which will see the opening of a new parliamentary session.

But opponents accused Mr Johnson of trying to stop them from acting to stop a no-deal Brexit on 31 October.


                              PM braced for result of legal challenge to parliament suspension

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In the end, MPs swiftly passed legislation which seeks to avoid a no-deal scenario.

It cleared the Commons in just one day on Wednesday – and it is expected to complete its journey in the Lords later.

The passage of the bill by MPs was quickly followed by the PM failing in a bid to get an early election.


                              PM braced for result of legal challenge to parliament suspension

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Opposition parties want the no-deal legislation to become law before they consider supporting a snap election.

The PM said he “did not want an election at all”, but “frankly I cannot see any other way”.

Mr Johnson also declared he would “rather be dead in a ditch” than ask the EU for another Brexit delay.

He has also had contend with the fallout from the resignation of his brother Jo from the government, citing an “unresolvable tension” between “family loyalty and the national interest”.


                              PM braced for result of legal challenge to parliament suspension

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He maintains the only way forward is to hold an election, with the government set to try again with another motion on Monday.

Before that, Mr Johnson will visit farmers in Aberdeenshire later.

He will pledge to “change things for the better” for Scotland’s farmers and announce a funding boost of more than £200m for the industry north of the border.

The government has said it will work to ensure cash for farmers is allocated fairly across the whole of the UK and that the industry has a “prosperous future” outside of the EU.


                              PM braced for result of legal challenge to parliament suspension

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After this, the PM will travel to Balmoral to visit the Queen, but the trip will be shorter than usual because of events in Westminster.

A Number 10 spokeswoman said: “The PM has accepted Her Majesty the Queen’s invitation to visit Balmoral.

“He will have an audience of Her Majesty on Friday followed by dinner, before returning to London on Saturday.”

Carrie Symonds is expected to accompany her partner when he stays with the Queen.

Sources told the Press Association news agency last month that Ms Symonds will join him at the monarch’s Scottish estate.

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