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Decision to suspend UK parliament was ‘unlawful’: Supreme Court

Published: Updated:

Britain’s Supreme Court on Tuesday said that parliamentarians could reconvene “as soon as possible” after ruling that a decision by Prime Minister Boris Johnson to suspend parliament was unlawful.

“It is for parliament, and in particular the Speaker and the Lord Speaker, to decide what to do next. Unless there is some parliamentary rule of which we are unaware, they can take immediate steps to enable each House to meet,” the ruling said.

The ruling Tuesday is a major blow to the prime minister who had suspended Parliament for five weeks, claiming it was a routine closure.

Britain’s highest court ruled that Johnson’s government had actually shut Parliament to squelch debate on its Brexit policy.

Senior judge Brenda Hale said the suspension “was unlawful because it had the effect of frustrating or preventing the ability of Parliament to carry out its constitutional functions without reasonable justification.”

Meanwhile, Britain’s main opposition Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn called Tuesday on Boris Johnson to resign as prime minister and call an early election after the Supreme Court made the ruling.

“I invite Boris Johnson... to consider his position, and become the shortest serving prime minister there has ever been,” Corbyn told Labour’s party conference, calling on the Conservative party leader to “have an election to elect a government that respects democracy.”