Boris Johnson’s decision to prorogue parliament was unlawful, the Scottish civil court has ruled.
Parliament was suspended in the early hours of Tuesday morning, with the prorogation lasting five weeks.
Scottish National Party lawmaker Joanna Cherry brought the legal challenge against the prime minister to Scotland’s highest appeal court.
She tweeted this morning: ‘Huge thanks to all our supporters & our fantastic legal team who have achieved the historic ruling that #prorogation is #unlawful.’
All three judges at the appeal court agreed the prorogation was unlawful, Ms Cherry said.
A group of around 70 MPs had appealed against an earlier ruling that the prorogation of parliament was lawful.
Judge Lord Doherty originally dismissed a challenge against the suspension at the Court of Session last Wednesday, saying it is for politicians and not the courts to decide.
But three judges of the Inner House, the supreme civil court in Scotland, disagreed with Lord Doherty’s ruling.
The UK Government plans to appeal against the latest ruling to the Supreme Court.
At the appeal hearing on Friday, Aidan O’Neill QC, representing the parliamentarians, said: ‘A decision to prorogue shuts down Parliament. It is in those circumstances an attack on democracy.
‘It is an attack on the balance of the constitution and therefore is is unlawful.’
David Johnston QC, representing the UK Government, had argued it was not for the courts to get involved in what was a political decision.
The campaigners who joined SNP MP Joanna Cherry included Liberal Democrat leader Jo Swinson, Labour MP Ian Murray and anti-Brexit barrister Jo Maugham, of the Good Law Project.
New Lib Dem MP Luciana Berger tweeted: ‘As one of the petitioners to this case, this is such an important ruling – although how awful that it’s had to come to this. ‘
SNP Westminiter leader Ian Blackford tweeted Ms Cherry, saying: ‘This is great news, congratulations to you and all involved. This battle has further to run but my message to @BorisJohnson is you are playing fast and loose with the law.
‘You have acted in an anti democratic manner and need to respond by recalling Parliament.’
Lawyer Jo Maugham said an appeal to the Supreme Court, the highest judicial body in the United Kingdom, would begin next week.
He tweeted: ‘We have won. Appeal begins in the Supreme Court on Tuesday.
‘We believe that the effect of the decision is that Parliament is no longer prorogued.
‘I have never been able to contemplate the possibility that the law could be that our sovereign Parliament might be treated as an inconvenience by the Prime Minister.
We believe that the effect of the decision is that Parliament is no longer prorogued.
— Jo Maugham QC (@JolyonMaugham) September 11, 2019
‘I am pleased that Scotland’s highest court agrees. But ultimately, as has always been the case, it’s the final arbiter’s decision that matters.
‘We will convene again in the Supreme Court next week.’
Those bringing the legal challenge hope the suspension will be reversed, with Ms Cherry calling it an ‘undemocratic farce’.