Suspension of Parliament ‘considered as early as mid-August’

The UK Government appears to have been considering suspending Parliament as early as mid-August, documents submitted to a Scottish court suggest.

The details emerged as a legal action aimed at halting the suspension of Parliament got under way at the Court of Session – Scotland’s highest civil court.

A note dated August 15 from Nickki da Costa, a former director of legislative affairs at Number 10 and seen by Prime Minister Boris Johnson and his adviser Dominic Cummings, asked whether an approach should be made to prorogue Parliament.

A note of “yes” was written on the document, the Court of Session in Edinburgh heard.

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Pro-EU demonstrators outside the Court of Session in Edinburgh (Andrew Milligan/PA)

Mr Johnson replied the following day with a handwritten note describing the September session of Parliament as a “rigmarole” designed to show MPs were “earning their crust”.

He added it should not be “shocking” to suspend Parliament.

The Queen met the Privy Council on August 28 to approve the move – with critics such as Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon branding Mr Johnson a “tin pot dictator”.

A decision was made to bring a full hearing forward to Tuesday from this Friday after the judge ruled it would be “in the interest of justice that it proceeds sooner rather than later”.

If an interim interdict had been granted it would have immediately lifted the royal order to suspend Parliament.

A full interdict could still be granted by the judge.

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