Boris Johnson branded 'father of lies' over decision to suspend Parliament

Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

Boris Johnson was called the "father of lies" at the Supreme Court during a hearing about his decision to prorogue Parliament.

A panel of 11 justices was urged to "stand up for democracy" when reaching their decision over the Prime Minister's controversial decision to suspend Parliament from September 9 to October 14.

They were hearing appeals arising from separate challenges in the English and Scottish courts, in which leading judges reached differing conclusions after Mr Johnson's motives were called into question.

Aidan O'Neill QC, representing a group of around 75 MPs and peers led by SNP MP Joanna Cherry QC, urged the justices to dismiss the government's appeal against a ruling of the Inner House of the Court of Sessionin Edinburgh, which concluded the prorogation was "unlawful".

Mr O'Neill told the justices: "Stand up for truth, stand up for reason, stand up for diversity, stand up for Parliament, stand up for democracy by dismissing this Government appeal and upholding a constitution governed by laws, not the passing whims of men.

"What we have with prorogation is the mother of parliaments closed down by the father of lies."

The Prime Minister claimed he wanted Parliament to shut so he could hold a standard Queen's speech but Mr O'Neill said Mr Johnson couldn't be trusted.

He described the PM as being capable of using "low, dishonest, dirty tricks" and said he was also concerned a witness statement had not bee supplied, adding: "An affidavit would say this is the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth."

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Boris Johnson confronted by angry parent on hospital visit
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Boris Johnson confronted by angry parent on hospital visit
The father of a young girl, who is being treated in the Acorn childrens' ward, expresses his anger over hospital waiting times to Prime Minister Boris Johnson and the Chief Executive of Whipps Cross University Hospital Alan Gurney (centre) during his visit to Whipps Cross University Hospital in Leytonstone, east London. PA Photo. Picture date: Wednesday September 18, 2019. See PA story POLITICS Johnson. Photo credit should read: Yui Mok/PA Wire
The father of a young girl, who is being treated in the Acorn childrens' ward, expresses his anger over hospital waiting times to Prime Minister Boris Johnson and the Chief Executive of Whipps Cross University Hospital Alan Gurney (centre) during his visit to Whipps Cross University Hospital in Leytonstone, east London. PA Photo. Picture date: Wednesday September 18, 2019. See PA story POLITICS Johnson. Photo credit should read: Yui Mok/PA Wire
The father of a young girl, who is being treated in the Acorn childrens' ward, expresses his anger over hospital waiting times to Prime Minister Boris Johnson and the Chief Executive of Whipps Cross University Hospital Alan Gurney (centre) during his visit to Whipps Cross University Hospital in Leytonstone, east London. PA Photo. Picture date: Wednesday September 18, 2019. See PA story POLITICS Johnson. Photo credit should read: Yui Mok/PA Wire
The father of a young girl, who is being treated in the Acorn childrens' ward, expresses his anger over hospital waiting times to Prime Minister Boris Johnson and the Chief Executive of Whipps Cross University Hospital Alan Gurney (centre) during his visit to Whipps Cross University Hospital in Leytonstone, east London. PA Photo. Picture date: Wednesday September 18, 2019. See PA story POLITICS Johnson. Photo credit should read: Yui Mok/PA Wire
The father of a young girl, who is being treated in the Acorn childrens' ward, expresses his anger over hospital waiting times to Prime Minister Boris Johnson during his visit to Whipps Cross University Hospital in Leytonstone, east London.
The father of a young girl, who is being treated in the Acorn childrens' ward, expresses his anger over hospital waiting times to Prime Minister Boris Johnson during his visit to Whipps Cross University Hospital in Leytonstone, east London.
The father of a young girl, who is being treated in the Acorn childrens' ward, expresses his anger over hospital waiting times to Prime Minister Boris Johnson during his visit to Whipps Cross University Hospital in Leytonstone, east London.
The father of a young girl, who is being treated in the Acorn childrens' ward, expresses his anger over hospital waiting times to Prime Minister Boris Johnson during his visit to Whipps Cross University Hospital in Leytonstone, east London.
RETRANSMITTING WITH ADDITIONAL PATIENT INFORMATION Prime Minister Boris Johnson speaks with Conor, 14, a leukemia patient during a visit to Whipps Cross University Hospital in Leytonstone, east London.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson meets members of staff during a visit to Whipps Cross University Hospital in Leytonstone, east London. PA Photo. Picture date: Wednesday September 18, 2019. See PA story POLITICS Johnson. Photo credit should read: Yui Mok/PA Wire
Prime Minister Boris Johnson meets members of staff during a visit to Whipps Cross University Hospital in Leytonstone, east London.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson meets members of staff during a visit to Whipps Cross University Hospital in Leytonstone, east London.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson meets members of staff during a visit to Whipps Cross University Hospital in Leytonstone, east London.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson during a visit to Whipps Cross University Hospital in Leytonstone, east London.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson meets members of staff during a visit to Whipps Cross University Hospital in Leytonstone, east London.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson uses the hand hygiene point during a visit to Whipps Cross University Hospital in Leytonstone, east London.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson during a visit to Whipps Cross University Hospital in Leytonstone, east London.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson during a visit to Whipps Cross University Hospital in Leytonstone, east London.
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Mr O'Neill labelled the government as "unworthy of our trust" and cast doubt on the honesty of documents it had submitted in the case as evidence.

He ended his address by saying the "court should listen to the angels of its better nature and rule that this prorogation is an unlawful abuse of power of prorogation."

Scottish courts ruled on September 11 Mr Johnson's advice to the Queen to prorogue Parliament for five weeks was unlawful because it was "motivated by the improper purpose of stymieing Parliament".

At the outset of his arguments, Mr O'Neill said the Inner House had the advantage of "distance" over the High Court in London – which concluded the prorogation was not a matter for the courts in a case brought by campaigner and businesswoman Gina Miller.

Sir James Eadie QC, representing the Prime Minister, argued the justices did not have jurisdiction to determine if the prorogation was lawful.

Submissions will be made to the Supreme Court until Thursday and a ruling will be made after this.

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Boris Johnson in Luxembourg
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Boris Johnson in Luxembourg
LUXEMBOURG, LUXEMBOURG - SEPTEMBER 16: Luxembourg Prime Minister Xavier Bettel speaks to the media following talks with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on September 16, 2019 in Luxembourg, Luxembourg. Johnson met with European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker for a working lunch earlier today. Johnson is pressing forward for a possible hard Brexit, though he has also been meeting with European leaders recently in an apparent effort to still strike a Brexit deal. (Photo by Joshua Sammer/Getty Images)
Prime Minister Boris Johnson at the UK ambassadors residence after meeting Luxembourg Prime Minister Xavier Bettel in Luxembourg.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson arriving at the UK ambassador's residence after meeting Luxembourg Prime Minister Xavier Bettel in Luxembourg.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson arriving for his meeting with Luxembourg Prime Minister Xavier Bettel at the Ministry of State in Luxembourg. (Photo by Stefan Rousseau/PA Images via Getty Images)
Prime Minister Boris Johnson is greeted by European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, outside Le Bouquet Garni restaurant in Luxembourg, prior to a working lunch on Brexit. (Photo by Stefan Rousseau/PA Images via Getty Images)
Prime Minister Boris Johnson with European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, inside Le Bouquet Garni restaurant in Luxembourg, prior to a working lunch on Brexit. (Photo by Stefan Rousseau/PA Images via Getty Images)
Prime Minister Boris Johnson and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker leaving Le Bouquet Garni restaurant in Luxembourg after their working lunch on Brexit. (Photo by Stefan Rousseau/PA Images via Getty Images)
LUXEMBOURG, LUXEMBOURG - SEPTEMBER 16: European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker greets British Prime Minister Boris Johnson at the European Commission Representation on September 16, 2019 in Luxembourg. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is holding his first meeting with European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker in search of a Brexit deal. (Photo by Francisco Seco - Pool/Getty Images)
Prime Minister Boris Johnson and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker leaving Le Bouquet Garni restaurant in Luxembourg after their working lunch on Brexit. (Photo by Stefan Rousseau/PA Images via Getty Images)
Protesters outside the Luxembourg Ministry of State in Luxembourg, prior to a meeting between Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Luxembourg Prime Minister Xavier Bettel. (Photo by Stefan Rousseau/PA Images via Getty Images)
LUXEMBOURG, LUXEMBOURG - SEPTEMBER 16: European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker (R) poses with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson prior to a meeting at a restaurant on September 16, 2019 in Luxembourg. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is holding his first meeting with European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker in search of a Brexit deal. (Photo by Francisco Seco - Pool/Getty Images)
Protesters outside the Luxembourg Ministry of State in Luxembourg, prior to a meeting between Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Luxembourg Prime Minister Xavier Bettel. (Photo by Stefan Rousseau/PA Images via Getty Images)
Protesters outside the Luxembourg Ministry of State in Luxembourg, prior to a meeting between Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Luxembourg Prime Minister Xavier Bettel. (Photo by Stefan Rousseau/PA Images via Getty Images)
Protestors hold placards as they look on outside the venue for talks between the British Prime Minister and EU Commission president in Luxembourg on September 16, 2019. - Six weeks before he is due to lead Britain out of the European Union, Prime Minister Boris Johnson meets Jean-Claude Juncker, insisting that a Brexit deal is possible. Downing Street has confidently billed the Luxembourg visit as part of efforts to negotiate an orderly divorce from the union before an October 17 EU summit. (Photo by François WALSCHAERTS / AFP) (Photo credit should read FRANCOIS WALSCHAERTS/AFP/Getty Images)
Protestors hold placards as they look on outside the venue for talks between the British Prime Minister and EU Commission president in Luxembourg on September 16, 2019. - Six weeks before he is due to lead Britain out of the European Union, Prime Minister Boris Johnson meets Jean-Claude Juncker, insisting that a Brexit deal is possible. Downing Street has confidently billed the Luxembourg visit as part of efforts to negotiate an orderly divorce from the union before an October 17 EU summit. (Photo by François WALSCHAERTS / AFP) (Photo credit should read FRANCOIS WALSCHAERTS/AFP/Getty Images)
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