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'Who runs Britain?': UK papers divided over Supreme Court ruling as parliament returns

A Guardian writer calls Johnson a “liar” while the Express asks what’s lawful about denying the result of the Brexit vote.

THE MOMENTOUS NEWS in the UK yesterday gets blanket coverage across all the newspapers today, with different outlets taking vastly different takes on the Supreme Court’s decision that Prime Minister Boris Johnson unlawfully suspended parliament.

Yesterday, judges ruled that Johnson’s advice to Queen Elizabeth II to suspend parliament for five weeks until 14 October was illegal and this was the worst possible outcome for the prime minister and his government.

Immediately afterwards, Speaker John Bercow said he wanted parliament to resume as soon as possible and the House of Commons will begin sitting at 11.30am this morning. Boris Johnson is set to address MPs in the Commons when he returns from New York in the afternoon.

Here’s what the papers have made of the UK’s latest constitutional crisis:

Financial Times

The Financial Times ran with the headline “Johnson faces calls to resign as judges rule parliament’s closure “unlawful”. It also said the court’s ruling was a “damning indictment” of the prime minister.

In an accompanying editorial, the FT also takes the unusual step of calling for Johnson to step down.

download (79) Source: Financial Times

Daily Express

The Brexit-supporting paper takes the opposite tone. Its headline reads: “Unlawful? What’s lawful about denying 17.4m Brexit.” 

“Let’s not forget Britain voted to quite the EU 1,189 days ago,” it added.

download (85) Source: Daily Express

Daily Mail

The Daily Mail echoes the Express with its headline “Boris blasts: Who runs Britain?”

It adds: “Judges sensationally say PM broke law by suspending parliament – Rees-Mogg rages at ‘constitutional coup’ – Johnson forced to phone Queen – MPs return today – but will they give us an election? Dream on!”

download (82) Source: Daily Mail

Daily Mirror

The Daily Mirror said that the court ruling “damns Johnson” and that “shamed Boris set for shortest term amid calls to quit.

It then features portraits of prime ministers who had brief tenures along with Johnson with the headline: “There’s a special place in history waiting for you, prime minister.” 

download (81) Source: Daily Mirror

The Times

The Times plays it fairly down the middle in its headline of “PM flies back to chaos”. 

But then it also adds: “Judges accused of constitutional coup as senior minister breaks ranks.”

download (83) Source: The Times

The Guardian

“He misled the Queen, the people and parliament” is the headline in the Guardian. Inside a columnist writes that Johnson is a “liar” and he should “pay the price”. 

download (80) Source: The Guardian

Daily Telegraph

The Telegraph has long supported Johnson and its headline is a quote from the prime minister yesterday: “Let’s be in no doubt, there are a lot of people who want to frustrate Brexit.”

download (84) Source: The Daily Telegraph

About the author:

Sean Murray

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