Iain Duncan Smith: John Major’s court appeal ‘ludicrous’

Thursday, September 19, 2019

Iain Duncan Smith has said Sir John Major's decision to support a Supreme Court appeal against suspending Parliament was “ludicrous” given the former Prime Minister did the same thing while he was in power.

The former Conservative leader told talkRADIO’s Julia Hartley-Brewer he was an MP in 1997 when Sir John prorogued Parliament.

“I do recall this is the same man by the way that when I was in Parliament suddenly prorogued Parliament during the height of the cash for questions saga and was highly criticised at the time but still went ahead,” he said.

“The words pot and kettle do come to mind rather significantly here.”

The Supreme Court is due to hear from Sir John’s lawyers on the final day of a legal challenge that will also feature submissions from the Welsh and Scottish governments.

His lawyers will put forward an argument that the suspension was motivated by the Prime Minister’s “political interest”.

The Welsh government will say Boris Johnson’s actions have “impeded” parliamentary sovereignty.

Mr Duncan Smith said he believed the courts were “wrong to enter” into the powers of of Parliament.

“Had Parliament ever wanted to curtail these prerogative powers which were part of the government in Parliament’s authority then they could have legislated,” he said.

“The only time I believe that the Supreme Court can enter the debate is when there’s defined legislation as to the limits and extent of powers of government.”

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