British parliament to resume Wednesday as pressures mount on Boris to quit after supreme court ruling
London, Sep 24, 2019 (AltAfrica)-John Bercow has said the House of Commons must reconvene without delay, as opposition parties called for Boris Johnson to resign for unlawfully asking the Queen to prorogue parliament.
The Speaker of the Commons said the the supreme court had “vindicated the right and duty of parliament to meet at this crucial time”, and he would now consult Johnson, the Labour leader, Jeremy Corbyn, and other party leaders about when it should meet “as a matter of urgency”.
MPs said they believed parliament was most likely to meet again as soon as Wednesday morning, although Johnson is currently in New York for the UN general assembly and Corbyn is due to give his party conference speech in Brighton in the afternoon.
Johnson is yet to react to the ruling but Corbyn led calls for the prime minister to consider his position.
“It demonstrates a contempt for democracy and an abuse of power by him,” he told the Labour party conference in Brighton. “I will be in touch immediately to demand that parliament is recalled so that we can question the prime minister, demand that he obeys the law that has been passed by parliament, and recognise that our parliament is elected by our people to hold our government to account.Advertisement
“I invite Boris Johnson, in the historic words, to consider his position and become the shortest-serving prime minister there’s ever been.”
Nicola Sturgeon, the SNP leader and first minister of Scotland, said Johnson should resign and called for a no-confidence vote in his leadership if he refuses to do so.
She told Sky News: “If the rules of democracy are to mean anything then I think a prime minister with any honour would tender his resignation today … If the prime minister isn’t prepared to do the decent and honourable thing then I think parliament should quickly come together to force this prime minister from office.”
Jo Swinson, the Lib Dem leader, said: “This confirms what we already knew – Boris Johnson isn’t fit to be prime minister. He’s misled Queen and country, and unlawfully silenced the people’s representatives. I’m on my way to resume my duties in the Commons and stop Brexit altogether.”
Condemnation also came from Nigel Farage, the Brexit party leader, who stopped short of calling for Johnson to resign but urged the prime minister to sack Dominic Cummings, his most senior aide who is thought to have driven the prorogation plan. “The calling of a Queen’s speech and prorogation is the worst political decision ever. Dominic Cummings must go,” he said.
In New York, where the verdict was delivered at 5.30am, the prime minister and his aides had a series of instant and tricky decisions to make.
Officials with Johnson had said that it would take time to digest what they called an “extraordinary” ruling and provide a response, and there was no indication when or how this would come.
The prime minister was scheduled to make what had been billed as the major Brexit-related speech of his two-day trip at about 8am (1pm BST), telling US business leaders and investors about how the country would change after departure.
Johnson was expected to have a series of bilateral talks, including with President Trump and Ireland’s Leo Varadkar, and to make his speech to the general assembly.
Johnson and his team face a difficult decision on whether to keep to this, or to head London. One option could be to take the prime ministerial plane back to London late on Tuesday rather than, as currently expected, first thing on Wednesday.
If the current schedule is maintained he would not be back in No 10 until late Wednesday night – a long delay amid calls for his resignation. Speaking to reporters on the flight over, Johnson had said he would not resign if the case went against him.