Dominic Cummings: Boris Johnson adviser’s proposal to suspend parliament a second time was ‘joke’, Number 10 insists

Idea came up as Downing Street advisers discussed response to looming Supreme Court ruling

Andrew Woodcock
Political Editor
Sunday 15 September 2019 13:08
comments
Boris Johnson denies lying to the Queen

Boris Johnson’s most senior adviser has said the government could suspend parliament for a second time if it loses a crunch Supreme Court battle.

It is understood that Dominic Cummings said that if the court forced a recall of parliament by ruling the prorogation unlawful, Downing Street could reassert control of events by suspending it for a second time.

A No 10 source did not dispute the accuracy of comments but insisted that they were made in jest.

“I am told the comment was made very clearly as a joke,” said the source.

The Supreme Court will on Tuesday hear the government’s appeal against the ruling of Scotland’s highest court that the prorogation, which will keep MPs out of Westminster until 14 October, is unlawful because it is designed to stifle parliamentary scrutiny of Brexit.

A panel of senior judges will also consider separate rulings in courts in London and Belfast which found that the issue was not for the legal system but for politicians to decide.

The Mail on Sunday reported that Mr Cummings – who previously led the Vote Leave campaign – told a meeting of special advisers in No 10 on Friday that, in the case of defeat, executive power could be used to re-suspend the Commons.

(AFP/Getty)

A Whitehall source told the paper that this would inevitably mean another court battle, but this would “tie everyone up in legal knots” as the clock ran down towards the scheduled 31 October date for Brexit.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

View comments