Sir John Major To Join Legal Action To Stop Parliament Suspension

30 August 2019, 10:00 | Updated: 30 August 2019, 13:30

Sir John Major wants to join legal action against Boris Johnson
Sir John Major wants to join legal action against Boris Johnson. Picture: PA

Sir John Major has announced he wants to join the legal action against Boris Johnson's decision to shut down Parliament.

The former Conservative prime minister said he wanted to join Gina Miller's efforts to stop the Prime Minister from proroguing Parliament - which would cut down the amount of time MPs have to pass laws against a no-deal Brexit.

Anti-Brexit campaigner Ms Miller, who previously won a legal battle against ministers over Article 50, has already made a judicial review application to the courts over the prorogation.

Sir John said he would be joining her efforts rather than start his own in order to avoid "taking up the Court's time."

The hearing has been scheduled for 5th September.

Labour's deputy leader Tom Watson also said he would join Ms Miller's legal challenge, calling the move “an unprecedented affront to democracy”.

Just minutes after Sir John's announcement, a separate legal effort by Remain campaigners to instate an interim block on the suspension was denied in the Court of Session in Edinburgh.

A full hearing into the matter will now be heard on 3rd September.

He is joining the legal action launched by Anti-Brexit campaigner Gina Miller
He is joining the legal action launched by Anti-Brexit campaigner Gina Miller. Picture: PA

Sir John's full statement said: "I promised that, if the Prime Minister prorogued Parliament in order to prevent Members from opposing his Brexit plans, I would seek judicial review of his action.

"In view of the imminence of the prorogation - and to avoid duplication of effort, and taking time up the Court's time through rejection - I intend to seek the Court's permission to intervene in the claim already initiated by Gina Miller, rather than commence separate proceedings.

"If granted permission to intervene, I intend to seek to assist the Court from the perspective of having served in Government as a Minister and Prime Minister, and also in Parliament for many years in the House of Commons."

Sir John himself was accused of proroguing in 1997, allegedly to stop a report into the 'cash for questions" scandal from being published.

He suspended Parliament 19 days before it would have been dissolved anyway to hold a general election.

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