UK Govt 'acted in good faith' on prorogation, Attorney General insists

Speaking in the Commons, he said: “If every time I lost a case, I was called upon to resign, I would probably never have had a practice.”

UK Govt 'acted in good faith' on prorogation, Attorney General insists

British Attorney General Geoffrey Cox said the Government accepts the Supreme Court judgment, but insists the Government acted “in good faith”.

Speaking in the Commons, he said: “If every time I lost a case, I was called upon to resign, I would probably never have had a practice.”

The Government accepts the judgment, and accepts that it lost the case and, at all times, the Government acted in good faith and in the belief that its approach was both lawful and constitutional.

“These are complex matters on which senior and distinguished lawyers will disagree.”

Earlier: Senior UK Cabinet member refuses to apologise for Johnson’s unlawful suspension of Parliament

A senior member of the UK Cabinet has refused to apologise for the unlawful suspension of Parliament after the Supreme Court’s judgment left Boris Johnson humiliated.

Michael Gove acknowledged there had been “heated responses” to the ruling although he said he did not recognise reports that Commons Leader Jacob Rees-Mogg branded the court’s actions a “constitutional coup”.

Michael Gove
Michael Gove

The Commons has resumed sitting on Wednesday after the bombshell legal ruling by the 11 Supreme Court justices.

Mr Johnson, who cut short his trip to the United Nations in New York, will make a statement to MPs on Wednesday afternoon, according to the Labour whips office.

His RAF flight arrived in London a little over an hour before the scheduled reopening of the Commons.

The Prime Minister faced demands for his resignation from furious opposition parties determined to hold him to account over his Brexit plans.

Downing Street insisted there was no question of him standing aside, despite the Supreme Court ruling there was no “reasonable justification” for his advice to the Queen to prorogue Parliament for five weeks.

The row dragged the Queen into Westminster’s bitter Brexit battle, but Mr Gove would not apologise for the Government’s actions.

The Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster told the BBC: “I don’t think that the Government should apologise for having a strong domestic agenda, I don’t think we should apologise also for seeking to advance our exit from the European Union.

“I don’t think the Government should apologise also for saying that we are attempting to honour the democratic will of the British people.”

Asked about Mr Rees-Mogg’s comments, reportedly made during a Cabinet conference call in response to the crisis, Mr Gove told Sky News: “There have been some heated responses from various people but I think the appropriate thing is to pause and reflect on this judgment but also to recognise it is vitally important now Parliament is reconvening to get on with the job of delivering Brexit.”

He said the position shared by all ministers is that “we respectfully disagree with the reasoning behind this judgment”.

Asked about newspaper reports regarding Mr Rees-Mogg’s comments, he replied: “I don’t recognise that language at all.”

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