Boris Johnson could be jailed if he does not delay Brexit, says ex-prosecutions chief

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Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson
Boris Johnson could be jailed if he doesn't extend the Brexit deadline, according to an ex-prosecutions chief (Picture: Getty Images)

Boris Johnson could be jailed if he does not delay Brexit, according to the ex-director of public prosecutions.

Lord MacDonald said if the prime minister did not comply with a new law compelling him to extend the October 31 deadline he could be in trouble.

MPs in Westminster, including more than 20 now-sacked Conservative rebels, voted in favour of a bill designed to prevent a no-deal Brexit, which has since been passed by the Lords and is due to pass into law on Monday.

But Mr Johnson reportedly told Tory members in a letter on Friday he was willing to ignore the legislation, writing: “They just passed a law that would force me to beg Brussels for an extension to the Brexit deadline.

“This is something I will never do.”

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson
Mr Johnson has said he would “rather be dead in a ditch” than ask for a delay (Picture: Getty Images)

Lord MacDonald said Mr Johnson could find himself in a spot of bother if he ignored a court order saying ‘the law should be followed’.

He told Sky News: "A refusal in the face of that would amount to contempt of court which could find that person in prison.”


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Former Supreme Court judge Lord Sumption does not think it would get to the stage where Mr Johnson was locked up.

He suggested civil servants would not carry out the Prime Minister’s wishes or other legal measures would force the PM to back down.

Some opposition MPs known as the "Rebel Alliance" are not so sure and claim the PM made it clear he had "no intention of complying with the law", according to Sky News.

They want to ensure the Tory leader follows the law and are apparently considering legal action to make sure he does.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has also said Mr Johnson needs to comply with the new legislation.

But Mr Johnson previously declared he would “rather be dead in a ditch” than ask for a delay.

The Prime Minister was defeated in his attempts to call a general election this week, failing to muster the two-thirds majority of the House of Commons required under the Fixed Terms Parliament Act.

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