Major’s Supreme Hypocrisy


Former prime minister turned anti-prorogation crusader John Major is about to giving evidence to the Supreme Court today. Major has already been widely mocked for his hypocrisy given his 1997 pre-general election prorogation which shut down the cash for access report being published, it’s largely forgotten that he’d already used the same ruse the previous year.

Back in 1996 the Commons didn’t even usually sit in September – only in 2003 did that change. So in 1996 the Commons had not sat for close on to two and a half months, between 25 July and 14 October, due to summer recess, Major still decided to prorogue for 7 days three days after returning, ostensibly to have a Queens Speech. Meaning parliament didn’t sit for a full three

Mid to late 1996 was rather fraught time for Major, with the cash for access scandal already in full swing (Hamilton and Greer withdrew their libel action on 30 September 1996). So a three-month break in parliament was a welcome relief from difficult questions.

What will Major’s next move be? Perhaps he’ll condemn Boris for adultery…

Gina Miller and John Major Lose Prorogation Case

Gina Miller and John Major’s High Court battle to prevent Boris Proroguing Parliament has failed. Not surprising following Jolyon Maugham’s Scottish court defeat two days ago…

Miller – supported by the former PM and Labour’s Shami Chakrabarti – was arguing Boris’s decision unlawfully breached parliamentary sovereignty. The courts are bruising a lot of egos at the moment…

UPDATE: Judges have given permission for Miller to keep flogging this dead horse via a Supreme Court appeal on Tuesday 14th…

UPDATE II: Read in full the judge’s summary explaining his rejection of Miller’s case

John Major Suing Boris Over Prorogation

Living museum exhibit John Major has released a statement announcing legal action against the Prime Minister.

I promised that, if the Prime Minister prorogued Parliament in order to prevent Members from opposing his Brexit plans, I would seek judicial review of his action.

In view of the imminence of the prorogation — and to avoid duplication of effort, and taking up the Court’s time through repetition — I intend to seek the Court’s permission to intervene in the claim already initiated by Gina Miller, rather than to commence separate proceedings.

If granted permission to intervene, I intend to seek to assist the Court from the perspective of having served in Government as a Minister and Prime Minister, and also in Parliament for many years as a Member of the House of Commons.

I will be represented by The Rt Hon The Lord Gamier QC and Tom Cleaver, who will be instructed by Herbert Smith Freehills LLP.

Guido wonders how Major would have responded to a former PM attempting to sue him for his even longer prorogation of Parliament just to get out of a cash for questions scandal

Boris’s Prorogation Will Be Shorter than Major’s

 

The news of Boris’s planned prorogation has naturally sent Remainers into hysterics, calling the move “undemocratic“, “outrageous” and comparing the PM to a “tin pot dictator” – all for using a bog-standard procedural technique. It’s set to be an entertaining day…

As Guido has reported before, prorogation has historically been used by Attlee, Major and Canadian PM Stephen Harper for political purposes. The move is even less surprising when taking into account the UK is currently enjoying the longest Parliamentary session ever since 1653, so a Queen’s Speech is long overdue.

Whilst everyone else is losing their heads, Guido thought it would be helpful to remind everyone that John Major’s prorogation – which he used to cover up the cash for questions scandal – lasted from the March 21 until the 1997 General Election: a period of 6 weeks, compare this to today’s announced prorogation that will result in Parliament losing only 4 sitting days. One rule for remainers, another for Boris. 

Caption Contest (Major Hancock Cricket Edition)

Major Hancock Cricket

What advice is Major giving young Hancock?

Major Prorogued Parliament in 1997 to Suppress “Cash for Questions” Sleaze Scandal

John Major has continued his recent campaign to make a fool of himself with a threat this morning to take the Government to court if it prorogues parliament to enable a No Deal Brexit to take place. Funny how Major didn’t have such a problem with proroguing Parliament when he abused his power to do so in 1997 in order to delay the publication of a highly embarrassing report into the “cash for questions” sleaze scandal involving his Government. Flagrant hypocrisy even by his standards, he must be glad no-one sued him then…

Prorogation is presented as a power grab but in practice all it does is keep the law as it is – preventing changes to the statute being made for a time. It wouldn’t work as a mechanism to deliver a No Deal Brexit if MPs hadn’t already voted for No Deal. When they set it as the legal default by passing the EU Withdrawal Act a year ago.

The pernicious trend of Remainers trying to wage ‘lawfare’ against every political decision they don’t like is much more damaging to the constitutional balance of the state. There’s only one group of people who benefit from it – the lawyers…

John Major Calls for National Unity Government

Has John Major forgotten who the Leader of the Opposition is? At least there’s a rare reality check for Remainers at the end as he points out that “of course” the crisis isn’t as serious as WW2…

Mogg on Major

Jacob Rees-Mogg demolishes John Major:

“Did John Major give a free vote on Maastricht? This is where he really is guilty of being a complete humbug. He whipped that through in the most aggressive whipping in modern history. For that PM to then say ‘oh it should be a free vote’, is either forgetting how he behaved himself, ignoring how he behaved himself, or just straight forward hypocrisy.”

Major Promised No Second Referendum

John Major has called for a free vote in the Commons on whether to hold a second referendum in his epic Brexit whinge this afternoon. During the referendum campaign, in a press release for the official Remain campaign on 29 May 2016, Major promised voters there would not be a second referendum:

“There will not be another referendum on Europe. This is it.”

Another Remain broken promise…

How Did Major’s Previous Brexit Interventions Work Out?

Ahead of John Major’s definitely-not-coordinated Remain whinge this afternoon, it’s worth taking a look at how his interventions during the referendum campaign turned out. Major claimed for example that “If we left there must be a high probability that Scotland will have another referendum and leave the UK”. In fact Nicola Sturgeon has since withdrawn her plan for a second independence vote. Then Major warned a Leave vote would lead to a “shrunken economy”. In fact the economy has grown in every quarter since we voted to leave. Major even argued Brexit would harm our relationship with the US, asking: “Would we remain such a pre-eminent ally of the United States if we no longer had influence in the EU?” On the contrary we are at the front of the queue…

Will Major say anything positive about Brexit today? Guido hopes he remembers his words during the Remain campaign: “For the UK to have to obey rules and regulations without any influence over them would be an absurd and undignified position for a nation like Britain”. That means leaving the single market, customs union and ECJ jurisdiction…

Major is speaking at the Creative Industries Federation ostensibly to talk about the tech sector. Will he mention all this good tech news since the referendum?

  • SoftBank acquires UK’s Arm Holdings for £24.3bn

  • Adobe announces plans to build a new sales and marketing office to cover Europe, the Middle East and Asia in London, doubling the size of the current one

  • Facebook pledges to create 500 more jobs in the UK

  • IBM build four more data centres in the UK

  • Google announces new headquarters in the UK, creating up to 3,000 news jobs and totalling an estimated £1bn in extra investment

  • Snap establishes its non-US office in London

  • London attracted record levels of investment in the tech industry in the first half of 2017. Figures from London & Partners revealed that since the referendum the capital’s tech sector has attracted more venture capital investment than any other European city

  • Silicon Valley investors have more than doubled funding for UK technology companies in 2017. British start-ups received £884.8m in the first nine months of this year, compared to £342m in the whole of 2016, according to London & Partners

  • Deliveroo announces it is creating 250 new tech jobs in London

  • Investment into UK FinTech companies grew by 150% in 2017 to £1.3 billion

Plenty for him to talk about…

Major and Cameron Lunched Yesterday

According to a tweet from the much followed EyeSpy.MP former PMs Major and Cameron were spotted lunching in the Goring Hotel dining room yesterday. The posh Belgravia venue is discreet (try the Cornish cod and lobster). Was Dave buying lunch by way of congratulations to John for his kicking of Brexiteers on Monday? There is no doubt May would have been on the menu.

Conspiracy theorists will be intrigued….

Campaign Report: 14 Days to Go

blair major

Leave message: Latest trade stats show the UK is more likely than ever to get an EU trade deal post-Brexit.

Remain message: Stop Nigel, register to vote.

Cut through: Major and Blair: Brexit would “tear apart” UK.

Leave social media count: 469,678 likes, 54,829 followers.

Remain social media count: 464,073 likes, 35,868 followers.

Odds: Remain 3/10, Leave 16/5

Latest poll: Remain 43% (+2), Leave 42% (-3) (YouGove, online). Poll of Polls is now Remain 51%, Leave 49%.

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Quote of the Day

Expelled Tory MP, Richard Benyon, on the short three-day Programme Motion for the Withdrawal Agreement Bill:

“Whether you had three days, three weeks or three months debating this, you would not hear one original argument that we hadn’t otherwise heard in this process…”

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