The Latest: British PM Boris Johnson rejects calls to resign

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Britain’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson addresses the Climate Action Summit in the United Nations General Assembly at the U.N. headquarters, Monday, Sept. 23, 2019. (AP Photo/Jason DeCrow)

LONDON (AP) — The Latest on the legal challenge to the British Prime Minister (all times local):

5:50 p.m.

In a major blow to Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Britain’s highest court has ruled that his decision to suspend Parliament for five weeks in the crucial countdown to the country’s Brexit deadline was illegal.

The unanimous, strongly worded Supreme Court judgment on Tuesday declared Johnson’s order to suspend Parliament “void and of no effect.” The court found that Johnson’s suspension had the effect of limiting debate by lawmakers on Britain’s impending departure from the European Union in violation of Parliament’s constitutional role.

The landmark decision was quickly criticized by Johnson and prompted calls for him to quit from opposition leaders. The Conservative prime minister and Parliament have been at odds since he took power in July with the goal of taking Britain out of the EU on Oct. 31 with or without a divorce deal.

Johnson vowed Tuesday that he will not resign and was flying back to London from New York overnight. Parliament resumes Wednesday.

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2 p.m.

Former Prime Minister John Major says he hopes the U.K. Supreme Court ruling will prevent any future prime ministers from attempting to shut down Parliament in order to block it from doing its duty.

Major said Tuesday he was “delighted” with the court ruling. He had joined the successful case against Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s decision to close Parliament.

“No prime minister must ever treat the monarch or Parliament in this way again,” he said, adding that having Parliament sit is clearly in the national interest.

It was unusual for a former prime minister to take legal action against a sitting prime minister, especially since both are members of the same Conservative Party.

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1:30 p.m.

Boris Johnson’s office says he will not resign as Britain’s prime minister after the Supreme Court ruled his suspension of Parliament illegal.

Downing St. says Johnson will fly back from a U.N. General Assembly in New York overnight, earlier than planned.

That will bring him back to London by the time Parliament resumes on Wednesday.

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1:15 p.m.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson says he strongly disagrees with the Supreme Court ruling that Parliament’s suspension was illegal.

He says the government will respect the decision but indicated he could try to suspend it again.

Johnson said in New York Tuesday that “I strongly disagree with what the justices have found. I don’t think that it’s right but we will go ahead and of course parliament will come back.”

He added: “I do think there’s a good case for getting on with a queen’s speech anyway and we will do that.”

The queen’s speech outlines the government’s plan for the coming session of Parliament.

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12:15 p.m.

The speaker of Britain’s House of Commons says Parliament will resume its deliberations Wednesday at 11:30 a.m.

John Bercow said Tuesday there will be full scope for emergency debates following the Supreme Court’s ruling that the government’s suspension of Parliament was illegal and void. He said the ruling means the suspension never took effect.

He says there will not be a Prime Minister’s Questions session Wednesday. Prime Minister Boris Johnson is in New York for the United Nations General Assembly.

Bercow welcomed the Supreme Court’s unanimous decision and said British citizens deserve to have Parliament in session to scrutinize ministers and perform its other core functions.

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12:05 p.m.

The EU parliament’s chief Brexit official says he is relieved that at least one key pillar of British life has survived: Parliamentary democracy.

“The rule of law in the U.K. is alive & kicking,” MEP Guy Verhofstadt tweeted.

And he derided all those Brexit supporters who never resist any opportunity to call the EU “undemocratic.” ”I never want to hear Boris Johnson or any other Brexiteer say again that the European Union is undemocratic,” he said.

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12 p.m.

Brexit Party chairman Richard Tice says the Supreme Court ruling that Prime Minister Boris Johnson illegally when he suspended Parliament means Britain will have to ask the European Union to push back the Brexit deadline again.

Tice, a lawmaker in the European Parliament, told the BBC that Britain’s Parliament will likely be recalled Wednesday as a result of the unanimous Supreme Court decision and Johnson may be forced to resign.

Tice says, “What is absolutely clear is that the public needs to understand we’re not leaving the European Union on Oct. 31, there will have to be a request to the European Union for an extension.”

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11:45 a.m.

Opposition Labour Party lawmaker Hilary Benn, who introduced legislation compelling Prime Minister Boris Johnson to stop a no-deal Brexit and extend its deadline, says he looks forward to returning to Parliament after the historic Supreme Court ruling.

Speaking Tuesday after the Supreme Court unanimously ruled that Johnson illegally suspended Parliament in the frenetic countdown to Britain’s Oct. 31 deadline to leave the European Union, Benn said Johnson ” acted unlawfully in proroguing Parliament because he didn’t want us holding him to account.”

Benn added: “I look forward to the House of Commons returning as soon as possible.”

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11:40 a.m.

Transparency campaigner Gina Miller has called the Supreme Court ruling that Prime Minister Boris Johnson illegally suspended Parliament “a win for Parliamentary sovereignty, the separation of powers and independence of our British courts.”

Miller, who is one of the people who brought the case against the government, says the U.K.’s highest court unanimously ruled that Johnson advised the queen to shut down Parliament “to silence our democratically elected MPs at one of the most critical times in our country’s modern history.”

Miller says that as a result of Tuesday’s decision, “Parliament is open – it was never prorogued. I urge MPs to get back to work immediately.”

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11:15 a.m.

Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn has told his party conference that Prime Minister Boris Johnson should resign “and become the shortest serving prime minister there’s ever been.”

He said Tuesday that Johnson’s illegal suspension of Parliament shows his “contempt” for democracy and the rule of law.

“I invite Boris Johnson, in the historic words, to consider his position,” Corbyn told the party faithful.

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11:05 a.m.

The speaker of Britain’s lower house has welcomed the Supreme Court’s ruling that the suspension of parliament was illegal and says it must now “convene without delay.”

“In reaching their conclusion, they have vindicated the right and duty of Parliament to meet at this crucial time to scrutinise the executive and hold Ministers to account,” John Bercow, the speaker of the House of Commons, said in a statement Tuesday.

“As the embodiment of our Parliamentary democracy, the House of Commons must convene without delay. To this end, I will now consult the party leaders as a matter of urgency.”

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11 a.m.

Scottish National Party lawmaker Joanna Cherry says Prime Minister Boris Johnson should resign because of the Supreme Court ruling.

Cherry is one of the people who brought the legal case against the prime minister.

“His position is untenable and he should have the guts for once to do the decent thing and resign,” she said Tuesday.

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10:50 a.m.

Britain’s Supreme Court has ruled that Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s suspension of Parliament was “void and of no effect.”

Judge Brenda Hale says that means Parliament was never legally suspended and is technically still sitting.

She said lawmakers could decide when to reconvene.

The unanimous decision by the 11 judges is a devastating blow for the government.

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10:45 a.m.

In a setback for Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Britain’s Supreme Court has ruled that the suspension of Parliament was illegal.

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.”

10:35 a.m.

Britain’s Supreme Court has ruled it has jurisdiction to rule on the suspension of Parliament.

The unanimous ruling of 11 judges was announced Tuesday. The court is deciding if Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s suspension of Parliament was legal.

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8:20 a.m.

Britain’s Supreme Court plans to give its verdict Tuesday on the legality of Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s five-week suspension of Parliament.

The case marks a historic confrontation between the prime minister, the courts, and Parliament over their rights and responsibilities.

Johnson has refused to say whether he will resign if he is found to have broken the law, or will seek to shut down Parliament again.

Britain’s highest court says it will announce the decision at 10:30 a.m. (0930GMT) after holding three days of hearings last week before 11 judges.

The court is deciding whether Johnson acted improperly by shutting down Parliament this month for five weeks before Britain’s Oct. 31 Brexit deadline, when the country is scheduled to leave the European Union.

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