News | Published July 11 2019

Major: 'I'll seek judicial review to stop prorogation'

Sir John Major has said he would take the unprecedented step of seeking judicial review if the next prime minister tried to suspend parliament.

The former prime minister told the BBC’s Today programme that he would take a future prime minister to court if they were to request permission from the Queen to prorogue parliament to achieve a no-deal Brexit.

He said a move to bypass MP's would be “utterly and totally unacceptable”.

“In order to close down parliament the prime minister would have to go to her majesty the queen and ask for her permission to prorogue,” Sir John said.

“If her first minister asks for her permission it is almost inconceivable that the queen will do anything other than grant it."

Major highlighted that while the actions of the queen cannot be challenged in law, the prime minister's advice to her majesty can.

He said no serious politician should put in the queen in the middle of a "constitutional controversy", and said the idea of prorogation was against parliamentary tradition.

Sir John added: “I have served in parliament for over 20 years, I am very proud to have done so, I have huge admiration for our parliamentary traditions, I'm not going to stand by and see them disregarded in this fashion."

Boris Johnson, the front runner in the Tory leadership contest, has refused to “take anything off the table” when it comes to delivering Brexit.

Jeremy Hunt, however, categorically ruled out suspending parliament when the question of prorogation was raised during an ITV debate with his rival earlier this week. 

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Authored by

Joshua Sandiford
Junior Political Editor
July 11 2019

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