Former UK PM Major vows legal action to block suspension of parliament


A former British prime minister threatened Wednesday to take Conservative Party leadership candidate Boris Johnson to court if he tries to suspend Parliament to deliver a United Kingdom departure from the European Union without a deal. Further, he has remarked that he would act to prevent the queen from being dragged into a constitutional crisis.

John Major told the BBC it would be unacceptable and against tradition to shut down Parliament, and he would seek a court ruling to overturn it if it happened. "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", he said.

I for one would be prepared to seek a judicial review to prevent parliament being bypassed.

Former ambassador to France Lord Ricketts echoed that view and added "I wish Boris Johnson could have brought himself to say the same".

Conservative leadership candidate Johnson has said Britain will leave the European Union on October 31, with or without agreeing a withdrawal deal with Brussels.

Boris Johnson, the leading contender to be Britain's next prime minister, said on Wednesday it would be "very odd" to give the judiciary a say over Brexit, responding to the threat of a legal challenge by former prime minister John Major.

The former foreign secretary sidestepped questions over whether he would allow Sir Kim Darroch to remain in the job until he is due to retire later this year, insisting it was "vital" the civil service is not politicised.

"You can not and should not bypass Parliament in this fashion", Major said.

Votes in parliament have indicated that a majority of lawmakers are against a no-deal Brexit because of concerns that it would cripple supply chains and damage trade.

Then-Prime Minister Major was said to have savoured the Eurosceptic's defeat, writing on a document: "Good, a full gloat is merited". Parliament won. King Charles I was tried and executed.

"I'm not going to take anything off the table, any more than I'm going to take no-deal off the table", Johnson said.

"We really can not have our ambassadors chosen by the host government, however eminent those host governments may be", Sir John, who is backing Mr Hunt in the leadership race, told BBC Radio 4's Today programme.

"I have chosen to back Boris because he is the best person to deliver Brexit with a deal".

Mr Grieve said in comments reported by The Times that he was "absolutely delighted" that his amendment passed, saying: "It is essential that parliament expresses its outright opposition to prorogation, which would be unconstitutional".

"National leaders look first at the interests of the country - not first at the interests of themselves", he said.