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East London MPs join bid to recall Parliament after Scottish court ruling that it was unlawful

PUBLISHED: 19:00 11 September 2019

MPs this-afternoon protesting outside Parliament over its suspension, with east London's Rushanara Ali and Stephen Timms among them in the middle. Picture: WhatsApp

MPs this-afternoon protesting outside Parliament over its suspension, with east London's Rushanara Ali and Stephen Timms among them in the middle. Picture: WhatsApp

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Two east London MPs are among scores of leading Westminster politicians demanding that Parliament be recalled after the Scottish Court of Session ruled today that Boris Johnson acted unlawfully in suspending it.

Bethnal Green and Bow MP Rushanara Ali and East Ham's Stephen Timms turned up outside Parliament this-afternoon following the court ruling to protest at the suspension.

Rushanara was also one of the MPs who took direct legal action in the courts against the prime minister.

"I am delighted with the court's judgment," she said. "I'm proud to be one of the 75 parliamentarians standing up for democracy.

"Suspending parliament is an affront to our democratic principles and was an obvious attempt to force through a 'no deal' Brexit and prevent MPs scrutinising Boris Johnson's plans."

Opposition MPs from Labour, Lib Dems and SNP are all calling for Parliament to be recalled immediately after Boris Johnson shut it down on Monday for five weeks.

They are not officially due to sit again until October 14 when the government had planned to hold a Queen's Speech, setting out its policy agenda.

But Scotland's highest civil court ruling that proroguing Parliament was unlawful and against the constitution now throws a spanner in the works.

The judges declared in favour of the MPs' cross-party group, pronouncing the PM's move was motivated by "the improper purpose of stymying Parliament" and is therefore ruled unconstitutional.

The Court of Session in Edinburgh, which was unanimous in its ruling, is to make an Order declaring that the prime minister's advice to the Queen and the suspension of Parliament was "null and of no effect".

But the judgement won't immediately affect Parliament's current suspension.

The case is now being heard in the UK Supreme Court on September 17 because of the government's appeal.

A Downing Street spokesman said: "We are disappointed by the judges' decision and will appeal. The government needs to bring forward a domestic legislative agenda and proroguing Parliament is the legal way to do this."

The Prime Minister is refusing to cut short the parliamentary break that runs up to October 14, just two weeks before his "no deal" Brexit deadline.

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