“Humble Address” Breaches Article 10 of the Human Rights Act

That this House has considered the matter of prorogation with the imminence of an exit from the European Union and accordingly resolves–That a Humble Address be presented to Her Majesty, that she will be graciously pleased to direct Ministers to lay before this House, not later than 11.00pm Wednesday 11 September, all correspondence and other communications (whether formal or informal, in both written and electronic form, including but not limited to messaging services including WhatsApp, Telegram, Signal, Facebook messenger, private email accounts both encrypted and unencrypted, text messaging and iMessage and the use of both official and personal mobile phones) to, from or within the present administration, since 23 July 2019 relating to the prorogation of Parliament sent or received by one or more of the following individuals: Hugh Bennett, Simon Burton, Dominic Cummings, Nikki da Costa, Tom Irven, Sir Roy Stone, Christopher James, Lee Cain or Beatrice Timpson; and that Ministers be further directed to lay before this House no later than 11.00pm Wednesday 11 September all the documents prepared within Her Majesty’s Government since 23 July 2019 relating to operation Yellowhammer and submitted to the Cabinet or a Cabinet Committee.

Dominic Grieve, Stephen Doughty, Sir Oliver Letwin, Ian Blackford, Jo Swinson, Caroline Lucas, Liz Saville-Roberts, Hilary Benn, Guto Bebb, Anna Soubry, Mary Creagh, Jonathan Edwards, Chris Leslie, Justine Greening

Remainers in parliament have passed a motion to present a Humble Address to the Queen with the aim of forcing the government to reveal communications with journalists. Downing Street says that “under no circumstances will No. 10 staff comply with Grieve’s demands regardless of any votes in Parliament”. Guido has notified those named in the humble address, with whom he has communicated, that he expects them to protect his rights under Article 10 of the Human Rights Act and notify him in advance of any action or inaction which might potentially prejudice his rights under the Act.

Article 10 of the Human Rights Act states

Freedom of expression

1. Everyone has the right to freedom of expression. This right shall include freedom to hold opinions and to receive and impart information and ideas without interference by public authority and regardless of frontiers. This Article shall not prevent States from requiring the licensing of broadcasting, television or cinema enterprises.

2. The exercise of these freedoms, since it carries with it duties and responsibilities, may be subject to such formalities, conditions, restrictions or penalties as are prescribed by law and are necessary in a democratic society, in the interests of national security, territorial disorder or crime, for the protection of health or morals, for the protection of the reputation or rights of others, for preventing the disclosure of information received in confidence, or for maintaining the authority and impartiality of the judiciary.

Article 10 guarantees the absolute right of journalists to “to receive and impart information and ideas without interference by public authority”. Ironically Grieve was always very keen on this right being incorporated into UK law, it ultimately allows people to take their case to the European Court of Human Rights…


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Quote of the Day

In response to Dominic Grieve’s rumoured plans to request the Government hand over private communication about prorogation to Parliament, Cummings said:

“For a supposedly adequate lawyer who loves the ECHR, Grieve doesn’t seem to realise that his request for private messages is blatantly illegal and will be rejected by the Cabinet Office. We love the rule of law in No10.”

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