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A bullish Boris Johnson refuses to apologise and again says the Supreme Court 'was wrong'

Johnson was speaking after the Supreme Court said he had acted unlawfully.

Johnson in the House of Commons this evening.
Johnson in the House of Commons this evening.
Image: PA Images

UK PRIME MINISTER Boris Johnson has challenged the opposition to call a no-confidence vote in his premiership in a bullish speech in which he again said the Supreme Court “was wrong” to rule against his government.

Johnson was speaking in the House of Commons this evening a day after the UK Supreme Court found that he acted unlawfully in attempting to shut down parliament for five weeks.

Speaking amid roars from opposition MPs in a raucous debate, Johnson repeatedly accused the opposition of seeking to stop Brexit against the wishes of the British public.

“They are going to cancel the first referendum, they are going to legislate for a second referendum and this time they will promise that they will respect that vote and they think that people will vote to remain and everybody will forget about the last few years. I think Mr Speaker that is a great delusion and fantasy,” Johnson said.

The Prime Minister repeatedly criticised Labour MPs for voting against or abstaining in the vote to hold a general election.

Instead of facing the voters, the opposition turned tail and fled from an election. Instead of letting the voters decide they ran to the courts instead.

He added: “It is not just to say that this parliament is gridlocked, paralysed and refusing to deliver on the priorities of the people. It’s not just unable to move forward, it’s worse than that Mr Speaker, out of sheer political cowardice members opposite are unwilling to move aside and give the people a say.”

Addressing the Supreme Court’s judgement, Johnson again said he disagreed with it but that he meant no “disrespect”.

“The Supreme Court was asked to intervene in the process for the first time ever and it is absolutely no disrespect to the judiciary to say that I think that the court was wrong to pronounce on what is essentially a political question at what is a time of great national controversy,” Johnson said.


In response, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said that Johnson’s government had “failed in an effort to silence democracy”.

Yesterday’s Supreme Court verdict represents a precious moment in this country’s history. The highest court in this land found that the Prime Minister broke the law when he tried to shut down our democratic accountability in a critical moment in our public life.

To shouts from his colleagues towards Johnson of “resign, resign”, Corbyn added:

“After yesterday’s ruling Mr Speaker, the Prime Minister should have done the honourable thing and resigned. Yet Mr Speaker he was forced back to this house to face the scrutiny he tried to avoid.”

Corbyn also said he would support the holding of a general election once the Brexit date of 31 October is extended. 

Liberal Democrat leader Jo Swinson said that Johnson owed the country and the UK’s Queen an apology.

“The Prime Minister needs to understand that actions have consequences. Even my five-year-old knows that when you do something wrong you have to say sorry,” she said.

Johnson ignored Swinson’s request that he apologise and went on the attack, saying she owed the country an apology for “writing to the President of the European Commission, asking him not to do a deal with this country”.

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Rónán Duffy

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