Gina Miller: The campaigner at the forefront of key Brexit legal battle

Investment fund manager Gina Miller came to prominence three years ago as the woman who led the campaign against triggering Brexit without Parliamentary approval.

In 2016, the campaigner launched a legal challenge to then prime minister Theresa May’s decision to use the royal prerogative to trigger Article 50, starting a two-year countdown to the UK’s departure from the EU.

But the High Court ruled the prime minister did not have the power to trigger Article 50 without the authority of Parliament, a ruling ultimately upheld by the Supreme Court in January 2017.

Ms Miller’s High Court victory resulted in her being subjected to online rape and death threats at the time.

Speaking back in 2016, Ms Miller said she would not let people “bring her down”, adding that opponents had previously nicknamed her “the black widow spider”.

In 2017, Rhodri Philipps, the 4th Viscount St Davids, was jailed for 12 weeks after writing a number of racially and abusive posts on Facebook towards Ms Miller days after her High Court challenge.

Speaking to the BBC, Ms Miller said she had to take measures to “protect herself” and police concluded that employing security would be “sensible” during the subsequent Supreme Court hearing.

Despite her earlier success, Ms Miller lost a High Court case in September this year challenging the legality of Prime Minister Boris Johnson suspending parliament.

Giving their reasons for rejecting the case, leading judges said the decision to prorogue Parliament was “purely political” and therefore not capable of challenge in the courts.

Brexit
In 2016, Gina Miller challenged the Government over its power to trigger Article 50 without the authority of Parliament (Brian Lawless/PA)

In an interview with Vogue, Ms Miller, 54, said she was born in Guyana in South America.

Her father, who she described as an activist for social justice, worked as an attorney general.

She said she left Guyana at a young age to attend an all-girls school in Eastbourne, Sussex, with her brother, leaving her parents behind.

She recalled working in hotels as a chambermaid while her brother did paper rounds.

“Whilst we missed our parents dreadfully, and it was difficult juggling our home lives with homework and school, it made us who we are today,” she said.

After finishing school, she studied law at the University of East London, but did not finish the course.

She later went on to study marketing at the University of North London, enrolling as a single parent.

Speaking to the Daily Mail in 2017, she said her daughter, then aged 28, had serious learning difficulties, with a reading age of six and a writing age of four.

Ms Miller is the co-founder of the wealth management firm SCM Direct, as well as the True and Fair foundation charity.

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