Prime Minister's Update

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 6:44 pm on 25th September 2019.

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Photo of Anna Soubry Anna Soubry Leader of the Independent Group for Change 6:44 pm, 25th September 2019

Having read yesterday’s judgment by the learned judges in a unanimous verdict of the highest court in the land—and I congratulate all those who brought the action to defend this sovereign Parliament—I see that, on two important matters, the Government clearly did not defend or supply evidence. That is why the learned judges came to the conclusions they did. The evidence of Sir John Major was that, normally, a Government would prorogue for some five days. That evidence was not challenged by this Prime Minister and Government. They offered no evidence on why they sought a Prorogation of five weeks. That led the learned judges, at paragraph 56—I am pleased to see that the Prime Minister is making a note; I hope he will go and read the judgment and will not be honing his pole dancing skills instead—to write:

“This was not a normal prorogation in the run-up to a Queen’s Speech. It prevented Parliament from carrying out its constitutional role for five out of…eight weeks”.

At paragraph 61—[Interruption.] They do not want to hear it, but they will hear it, because the learned judges unanimously concluded that there was not

“any reason—let alone a good reason—to advise Her Majesty to prorogue Parliament for five weeks”.

I came here today not just to represent my constituents but hoping that the Prime Minister would show humility in the face of the condemnation in this judgment. Will he apologise, if not to this place then to the country, and has he apologised to Her Majesty the Queen?