Boris Johnson will try within days to force a general election after denouncing Britain’s highest court for frustrating “the will of the people” by overruling his decision to prorogue Parliament, reports The Telegraph.
A government source told the publication:
“People should expect a quick push for an early election with a vote in Parliament in the coming days.”
If Johnson’s call for an election is rejected by opposition parties a third time, Johnson will use it to expose Remain-supporting MPs who want to stop Brexit without allowing the public any say in the matter, writes the publication.
According to Cabinet sources, Boris Johnson is expected to table a vote on an early election on Thursday, with senior Cabinet ministers urging him to defy the courts and prorogue Parliament for a second time if he loses that vote.
The Telegraph quotes a government source saying:
"We are in truly uncharted territory here. Proroguing Parliament again would not be without risk, but every time the courts and others try to stop the Prime Minister, it reinforces the point that the government is fighting a lone battle to carry out the will of the people."
The Mrime Minister is returning early from the UN General Assembly in New York, in the wake of the Supreme Court's unprecedented decision that he had acted unlawfully to suspend Parliament.
Speaker of the House John Bercow will reconvene the House of Commons at 11:30 a.m. GMT; the judges said it was up to him to “take immediate steps” to recall MPs.
Unprecedented Supreme Court Ruling
The Supreme Court ruled that Boris Johnson’s decision to prorogue Parliament for five weeks “was unlawful because it had the effect of frustrating or preventing the ability of Parliament to carry out its constitutional functions”.
Baroness Hale, the president of the court, said the government had provided “no justification for taking action with such an extreme effect”.
The ruling means no prime minister will in the future be able to exercise their prerogative right to suspend parliament without the risk of being overruled by MPs or the courts.
Boris Johnson voiced his strong disagreement with this decision of the Supreme Court, saying:
“I don't think this was the right decision, I think that the prorogation has been used for centuries without this kind of challenge. We in the UK will not be deterred from getting on and delivering on the will of the people to come out of the EU on Oct 31 because that was what we were mandated to do.”
Historic Ruling Ignites Political Spectrum
A plethora of reactions have dominated the news in the aftermath of the historic court decision, with Downing Street lambasting the Supreme Court ruling as a “serious mistake in extending its reach to these political matters”. Some legal experts have accused the 11 judges of “judicial activism” in drastically curtailing the centuries-old constitutional powers of the government.
Jacob Rees-Mogg, the Leader of the House, is understood to have described the court's decision as a "constitutional coup" during a conference call with the Prime Minister.
On the other side of the political spectrum, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn led a chorus of voices at home demanding that Johnson resign.
John Bercow, Speaker of the House of Commons, welcomed the Supreme Court's decision, saying:
“They have vindicated the right and duty of Parliament to meet at this crucial time to scrutinise the executive and hold Ministers to account.”
In New York, US President Donald Trump, who met the Prime Minister during the UN General Assembly on Tuesday, said:
“I'll tell you, I know him well, he's not going anywhere."
Trump continued that for Johnson this was just “another day at the office”, and Brexit was necessary, adding that “it takes a man like this to get it done”.
Johnson’s allies said the Supreme Court ruling confirmed that the Prime Minister and his government were alone in standing up for the 17.4 million people who voted to leave the EU, with Labour conspiring with the courts and other political parties to thwart Brexit.
What Comes Next?
Labour and Remain-backing MPs are now expected to table motions in Parliament demanding the release of the legal advice on prorogation given to the government by UK Attorney General Geoffrey Cox, reports The Telegraph.
It is believed they will also take steps to rule out loopholes in new legislation forcing the Prime Minister to ask for an extension to Article 50 if he fails to agree a deal with the EU next month.
A motion of no confidence can be tabled by Jeremy Corbyn as leader of the Opposition as early as Wednesday.
In the event that Johnson loses and no other government can be formed by the MPs, then a general election is inevitable.
The Supreme Court ruling does not necessarily make a general election more likely, writes the publication, as an election needs to be supported by more than two thirds of MPs in the House of Commons under the Fixed Term Parliaments Act, with Opposition MPs already voting twice against holding an election.