'This Parliament is dead': Attorney General attacks MPs in extraordinary Commons rant

Attorney General Sir Geoffrey Cox has launched an extraordinary attack against MPs the day after the Supreme Court ruled Boris Johnson's suspension of Parliament was unlawful.

Mr Cox let rip after being criticised by politicians following the resumption of Parliament on Wednesday.

MPs returned to Westminster after the UK's highest court ruled the Prime Minister’s five-week prorogation was "void" in an extraordinary blow to his authority.

A leaked memo released on Tuesday showed the Attorney General had advised Mr Johnson prorogation of Parliament was “was lawful and within the constitution.”

At first, Mr Cox admitted the government had “got it wrong” in regards to the ruling but he then lost his cool in the Commons.

He railed against the “dead Parliament” claiming MPs had no “moral right” to remain in the Commons, try to “block 17.4 million people’s votes” and refuse to allow an election.

Mr Cox, the government's top law officer, said: "They don't like to hear it Mr Speaker. They don't like the truth.

"This Parliament is a disgrace.

"Let me tell them the truth, they could vote no confidence at any time. But they're too cowardly.”

Attorney General Geoffrey Cox addresses the House of Commons, London, after judges at the Supreme Court ruled that Prime Minister Boris Johnson's advice to the Queen to suspend Parliament for five weeks was unlawful. (Photo by House of Commons/PA Images via Getty Images)
Attorney General Geoffrey Cox attacked opposition MPs in the House of Commons (Picture: Getty)

Mr Cox, who rejected alleged claims from Jacob Rees-Mogg the Supreme Court judgment was a “constitutional coup”, added: "This Parliament should have the courage to face the electorate, but it won't.


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"Because so many are about preventing us leaving the European Union at all.

"But the time is coming Prime Minister, when even these turkeys, won't be able to prevent Christmas."

Mr Cox suggested a third attempt by Mr Johnson to call an election “will be coming before the House shortly”.

Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson arrives at 10 Downing Street in central London on September 25, 2019. - British MPs return to parliament on Wednesday following a momentous Supreme Court ruling that Prime Minister Boris Johnson's decision to suspend parliament was unlawful. (Photo by ISABEL INFANTES / AFP)        (Photo credit should read ISABEL INFANTES/AFP/Getty Images)
Prime Minister Boris Johnson is on his way back to the UK to face Parliament (Picture: Getty)

Labour and Co-operative MP Barry Sheerman responded by telling him his tirade was a "disgrace" and accused him of “bluster”.

He said: "Mr Speaker, I came into the chamber today thinking I felt sorry for the Attorney General.

"But every word he has uttered, no shame today, no shame at all.

"The fact that this Government cynically manipulated the prorogation to shut down this House so that it wouldn't work as a democratic assembly. He knows that's the truth."

Mr Sheerman added: "To come here with his barrister’s bluster, to obfuscate the truth and for a man like him, a party like this and a leader like this, this Prime Minister to talk about morals and morality, is a disgrace.”

Mr Johnson has travelled back to the UK from the US and is also expected to face a mauling.

The PM was forced to cut short his visit to the United Nations in New York and fly back across the Atlantic to explain the humiliating legal defeat.

In his absence, he faced demands for his resignation from furious opposition parties in the Commons.

Downing Street insisted there was no question of him standing aside, despite the Supreme Court ruling there was no “reasonable justification” for his advice to the Queen to prorogue Parliament for five weeks.

The Supreme Court unanimously decided 11 to nil Mr Johnson’s prorogation of Parliament was unlawful.

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