Jolyon Loses Legal Action Against Boris Over Cruddas Peerage mdi-fullscreen

Last month, Jolyon Maugham commenced legal action against Boris Johnson personally over the PM’s decision to nominate the philanthropist and Tory donor Peter Cruddas for a peerage. Headlines quoted Maugham at his most bombastic, claiming they were challenging the corruption at the heart of Downing Street:

“… the Prime Minister took legally irrelevant considerations – past donations and the prospect of future donations – into account in making him a Baron.  And so we’re suing. We’ve instructed Bindmans LLP, Dan Squires QC and Alice Irving… Make no mistake, we intend to issue proceedings.”

Guido can report that no actual proceedings ever commenced.

Sources tell Guido that was because it was such a flimsy case. The letter to the Prime Minister, waved around loudly by Jolyon and his Good Law Project, amounted to no more than a press release. In the view of the government’s Treasury Solicitor the matter was not even justiciable, and it is noteworthy that the letter did not even seek a serious remedy beyond asking the PM to say that he should not have nominated Cruddas for the peerage. If this is lawfare, Jolyon is firing blanks…

The government’s response was that any legal action was out of time, the nomination was six months prior to Jolyon firing off his letter, it was in any event not open to judicial review, that constitutionally because of the separation of legal powers it could not be judicially reviewed, and that it was a political act – not a judicial matter. The intention would infringe upon parliamentary privilege, that the nomination is an exercise of prerogative, not statutory powers, and for many more reasons which should be known to any undergraduate who has studied the constitution, never mind a barrister, meritless. M’learned friend tells Guido dismissively:

“It was a telling feature of Jolyon’s letter that no action was in fact requested of the Defendant (Boris) at all. This underlines the lack of a proper justiciable legal basis to the claim.”

In short, it was just a headline-grabbing publicity stunt for Jolyon. This morning, Bindmans – Jolyon’s solicitors – quietly and without any fanfare served a notice of discontinuance. They were out of time again…

It has not gone unnoticed that Jolyon tweeted about Lord Cruddas 11 times, and that he got carried away with his allegations of corruption. He may get his day in court yet – as a defendant…

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mdi-account-multiple-outline Boris Johnson Jolyon Maugham Peter Cruddas
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