Boris Johnson 'faces citizen's arrest' if he goes to Scotland, PM warned

'He'd best keep in his bunker somewhere in either Eton or Westminster'

Lizzy Buchan
Political Correspondent, in Brighton
Wednesday 11 September 2019 12:18
Len McCluskey, general secretary of Unite the Union, says Boris Johnson likely to face citizen's arrest if entering Scotland

Boris Johnson has been warned he could face a “citizen’s arrest” by a senior union boss after the prime minister's decision to suspend parliament was ruled unlawful by Scotland's highest court.

The prime minister's Brexit strategy was plunged into crisis when three senior judges at the Court of Session in Edinburgh said the order to close the doors of Westminster to MPs was "null and of no effect".

Labour Sir Keir Starmer said the ruling was "huge" and vowed to try to reopen parliament to hold Mr Johnson to account, as he addressed trade unionists at the TUC in Brighton.

Speaking afterwards, Len McCluskey, general secretary of the Unite union, told Sky News: "It is quite extraordinary what the Scottish courts have ruled.

“My advice to the prime minister is don't go up to Scotland, you're liable to face a citizen's arrest, so he'd best keep in his bunker somewhere in either Eton or Westminster.”

His concerns were echoed by fellow union boss Tim Roache, who urged him to recall parliament to "sort out the mess we are in".

Speaking on the final day of the annual TUC gathering, the GMB general secretary said: “After losing six votes in a row and his majority, it’s not surprising Johnson wants to avoid parliament. But that’s hardly what ‘taking back control’ looks like.

“Shutting down parliament for your own ends at a time of national crisis, when people’s jobs and livelihoods are on the line, beggars belief."

TSSA leader Manuel Cortes, who backs a second referendum, said the "shameful" prime minister should be behind bars, rather than in Downing Street.

Mr Cortes said: “Parliament must be immediately reopened – but Johnson should be in jail not Number 10.

"He’s broken the law, is not fit to hold office and along with this disgraceful government must be held to account.

“Just look at the contrast with our Labour party – the only serious party of government on offer."

It comes after Sir Keir vowed to "get Boris Johnson back in parliament" to hold him to account over Brexit.

He told delegates: "It was obvious to everybody that not only was shutting down parliament at this crucial time obviously, the wrong thing to do, we should be sitting each and every day to resolve this crisis."

The government said it would appeal the decision in the UK Supreme Court, with a hearing scheduled to take place next Tuesday.

A spokesman said: "We are disappointed by today's decision, and will appeal to the UK Supreme Court.

"The UK government needs to bring forward a strong domestic legislative agenda. Proroguing parliament is the legal and necessary way of delivering this."

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