A series of notes and emails published in Edinburgh’s Court of Session, has revealed that Boris Johnson was in fact planning to prorogue parliament weeks before he openly denied he the claim.
The prime minister received an email on 15 August from Dominic Cummings, his chief adviser titled “Ending The Session” which said “we should prorogue from 9 September.”
However, Downing Street denied this and said, “the claim that the government is considering proroguing parliament in September in order to stop MPs debating Brexit is entirely false”.
A handwritten note from Johnson said, “The whole September session is a rigmarole for MPs to show they’re earning their crust.
“I don’t see anything shocking about this decision.”
The parliamentarian’s lawyer, Aidan O’Neill QC, told judge Lord Doherty at the Court of Session, the note titled “Ending The Session” asked Johnson, “Are you content for your PPS [Parliamentary Private Secretary] to approach the palace with the request for prorogation to begin with the period 9 September to Thursday 12 September and for the Queen’s Speech on 14 October?
The prime minister wrote next to that paragraph, “yes.”
O’Neil QC told judge Lord Doherty, “One presumes this is a document which was sent in the red box to the prime minister for him to read at his leisure in the evening of 15 August in which he says “yes” to approaching the palace with a request for prorogation.”
The QC added, “That appears to be developing government policy as of 15 August, but this court was told nothing of that (by UK government lawyers) and was told in fact that this judicial review is academic, hypothetical and premature.
“That is not true. This court and these petitioners were being actively misled.”
O’Neil is seeking an injunction to prevent the prime minister from proroguing parliament from 9 September for five weeks until the Queen’s speech on 14 October.