U.K. Supreme Court rules PM Johnson's suspension of parliament was unlawful

LONDON, Sept 24 (Reuters) - The United Kingdom's Supreme Court ruled on Tuesday that Prime Minister Boris Johnson had acted unlawfully when he advised Queen Elizabeth to suspend parliament weeks before Brexit - and that therefore the suspension was void.

The ruling paves the way for legislators to return to parliament, where Johnson has no majority. It could give lawmakers, most of whom are opposed to leaving without the EU without a divorce agreement as he has threatened to do, further opportunity to impede his strategy.

"The decision to advise Her Majesty to prorogue parliament was unlawful because it had the effect of frustrating or preventing the ability of parliament to carry out its constitutional functions without reasonable justification," Supreme Court President Brenda Hale said.

13 PHOTOS
Queen Elizabeth meets Boris Johnson
See Gallery
Queen Elizabeth meets Boris Johnson
LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 24: Queen Elizabeth II welcomes newly elected leader of the Conservative party, Boris Johnson during an audience where she invited him to become Prime Minister and form a new government in Buckingham Palace on July 24, 2019 in London, England. The British monarch remains politically neutral and the incoming Prime Minister visits the Palace to satisfy the Queen that they can form her government by being able to command a majority, holding the greater number of seats, in Parliament. Then the Court Circular records that a new Prime Minister has been appointed. (Photo by Victoria Jones - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 24: Queen Elizabeth II welcomes newly elected leader of the Conservative party, Boris Johnson during an audience where she invited him to become Prime Minister and form a new government in Buckingham Palace on July 24, 2019 in London, England. The British monarch remains politically neutral and the incoming Prime Minister visits the Palace to satisfy the Queen that they can form her government by being able to command a majority, holding the greater number of seats, in Parliament. Then the Court Circular records that a new Prime Minister has been appointed. (Photo by Victoria Jones - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
Britain's Queen Elizabeth II welcomes newly elected leader of the Conservative party, Boris Johnson during an audience in Buckingham Palace, London on July 24, 2019, where she invited him to become Prime Minister and form a new government. - Boris Johnson took over as Britain's prime minister Wednesday, promising to pull his country out of the European Union on October 31 by any means necessary. (Photo by Victoria Jones / POOL / AFP) (Photo credit should read VICTORIA JONES/AFP/Getty Images)
Britain's Queen Elizabeth II welcomes newly elected leader of the Conservative party, Boris Johnson during an audience in Buckingham Palace, London on July 24, 2019, where she invited him to become Prime Minister and form a new government. - Boris Johnson took over as Britain's prime minister Wednesday, promising to pull his country out of the European Union on October 31 by any means necessary. (Photo by Victoria Jones / POOL / AFP) (Photo credit should read VICTORIA JONES/AFP/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 24: Queen Elizabeth II welcomes newly elected leader of the Conservative party, Boris Johnson during an audience where she invited him to become Prime Minister and form a new government in Buckingham Palace on July 24, 2019 in London, England. The British monarch remains politically neutral and the incoming Prime Minister visits the Palace to satisfy the Queen that they can form her government by being able to command a majority, holding the greater number of seats, in Parliament. Then the Court Circular records that a new Prime Minister has been appointed. (Photo by Victoria Jones - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 24: Queen Elizabeth II welcomes newly elected leader of the Conservative party, Boris Johnson during an audience where she invited him to become Prime Minister and form a new government in Buckingham Palace on July 24, 2019 in London, England. The British monarch remains politically neutral and the incoming Prime Minister visits the Palace to satisfy the Queen that they can form her government by being able to command a majority, holding the greater number of seats, in Parliament. Then the Court Circular records that a new Prime Minister has been appointed. (Photo by Victoria Jones - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 24: Newly elected leader of the Conservative party, Boris Johnson leaves Buckingham Palace after an audience with Queen Elizabeth II where she invited him to become Prime Minister and form a new government in Buckingham Palace on July 24, 2019 in London, England. The British monarch remains politically neutral and the incoming Prime Minister visits the Palace to satisfy the Queen that they can form her government by being able to command a majority, holding the greater number of seats, in Parliament. Then the Court Circular records that a new Prime Minister has been appointed. (Photo by Victoria Jones - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 24: Queen Elizabeth II welcomes newly elected leader of the Conservative party, Boris Johnson during an audience where she invited him to become Prime Minister and form a new government in Buckingham Palace on July 24, 2019 in London, England. The British monarch remains politically neutral and the incoming Prime Minister visits the Palace to satisfy the Queen that they can form her government by being able to command a majority, holding the greater number of seats, in Parliament. Then the Court Circular records that a new Prime Minister has been appointed. (Photo by Victoria Jones - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
Britain's Queen Elizabeth II welcomes newly elected leader of the Conservative party, Boris Johnson during an audience in Buckingham Palace, London ON jULY 24, 2019, where she invited him to become Prime Minister and form a new government. - Theresa May is set to formally resign on July 24 after taking her final PMQs in the House of Commons with Boris Johnson taking charge at 10 Downing Street on a mission to deliver Brexit by October 31 with or without a deal. (Photo by Victoria Jones / POOL / AFP) (Photo credit should read VICTORIA JONES/AFP/Getty Images)
Britain's former Prime Minister Theresa May and her husband Philip are greeted by Hon Edward Young, private secretary to the Queen, and Major Nana Twumasi-Ankrah, Household Cavalry Regiment, as she arrives at Buckingham Palace in London for an audience with Queen Elizabeth II to formally resign as Prime Minister, at Buckingham Palace in central London on July 24, 2019. - Theresa May is set to formally resign on July 24 after taking her final PMQs in the House of Commons with Boris Johnson taking charge at 10 Downing Street on a mission to deliver Brexit by October 31 with or without a deal. (Photo by Yui Mok / POOL / AFP) (Photo credit should read YUI MOK/AFP/Getty Images)
Britain's former Prime Minister Theresa May and her husband Philip are greeted are greeted by Major Nana Twumasi-Ankrah, Household Cavalry Regiment (L) and Lady Susan Hussey, the Queen's lady in waiting, (R), as she arrives at Buckingham Palace in London for an audience with Queen Elizabeth II to formally resign as Prime Minister, at Buckingham Palace in central London on July 24, 2019. - Theresa May is set to formally resign on July 24 after taking her final PMQs in the House of Commons with Boris Johnson taking charge at 10 Downing Street on a mission to deliver Brexit by October 31 with or without a deal. (Photo by Yui Mok / POOL / AFP) (Photo credit should read YUI MOK/AFP/Getty Images)
Britain's Queen Elizabeth II welcomes newly elected leader of the Conservative party, Boris Johnson during an audience in Buckingham Palace, London on July 24, 2019, where she invited him to become Prime Minister and form a new government. - Theresa May is set to formally resign on July 24 after taking her final PMQs in the House of Commons with Boris Johnson taking charge at 10 Downing Street on a mission to deliver Brexit by October 31 with or without a deal. (Photo by Victoria Jones / POOL / AFP) (Photo credit should read VICTORIA JONES/AFP/Getty Images)
TOPSHOT - Britain's Queen Elizabeth II welcomes newly elected leader of the Conservative party, Boris Johnson during an audience in Buckingham Palace, London ON jULY 24, 2019, where she invited him to become Prime Minister and form a new government. - Theresa May is set to formally resign on July 24 after taking her final PMQs in the House of Commons with Boris Johnson taking charge at 10 Downing Street on a mission to deliver Brexit by October 31 with or without a deal. (Photo by Victoria Jones / POOL / AFP) (Photo credit should read VICTORIA JONES/AFP/Getty Images)
HIDE CAPTION
SHOW CAPTION
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE

"Parliament has not been prorogued. This is the unanimous judgment of all 11 justices," she added. "It is for parliament, and in particular the speaker and the (House of) Lords speaker, to decide what to do next."

Parliament was suspended, or prorogued in the British jargon, from Sept. 10 to Oct. 14. The prorogation was approved by Queen Elizabeth, Britain's politically neutral head of state, on the advice of the prime minister.

"I welcome the Supreme Court’s judgment that the prorogation of Parliament was unlawful," said the speaker of the House of Commons, John Bercow.

"As the embodiment of our Parliamentary democracy, the House of Commons must convene without delay. To this end, I will now consult the party leaders as a matter of urgency."

Some lawmakers, including those thrown out of Johnson's Conservative Party for rebelling against his Brexit plans, had said he should resign if he was found to have misled the queen.

Read Full Story

Sign up for Breaking News by AOL to get the latest breaking news alerts and updates delivered straight to your inbox.

Subscribe to our other newsletters

Emails may offer personalized content or ads. Learn more. You may unsubscribe any time.