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Boris Johnson: I did not lie to the Queen

Eye, eye, Mr Johnson: Apprentices on the lighthouse tender NLV Pharos meet the prime minister in London yesterday PICTURE: GETTY

BORIS JOHNSON yesterday denied lying to the Queen about why he wanted to suspend parliament.

The prime minister said ‘absolutely not’ when asked if he had misled the monarch over the shutdown.

It came after Scotland’s highest court ruled that ‘stymying’ parliament over Brexit was the real reason he requested the five-week closure. Judges also found his advice to the Queen broke the law.

The Supreme Court will now decide next week whether MPs are recalled.

Mr Johnson insisted he prorogued parliament only because he wanted to prepare a programme of legislation to be introduced when it reopens.

‘We need a Queen’s speech, we need to get on and do all sorts of things at a national level,’ he said as he visited lighthouse-servicing ship NLV Pharos and met apprentices aboard on the Thames in London.

He added: ‘We are going to need bills on education, on health, on housing, on technology, on our vision for investing in science, space programme, on environment, stopping the export of waste overseas and plastics.’

Energy minister Kwasi Kwarteng earlier attacked the Scottish ruling, saying ‘many people up and down the country are beginning to question the partiality of the judges’.

But Mr Johnson said he would not ‘quarrel’. He added: ‘The British judiciary is one of the great glories of our constitution — they are independent. People around the world people look at our judges with awe and admiration.’

Shadow chancellor John McDonnell said he ‘can’t tell’ if the prime minister lied to the Queen. He added: ‘We need to have all the information published to enable us to determine that. I have little trust in Boris Johnson given his track record.’

The PM has rejected MPs’ orders to publish discussion between his aides on the reasons for the shutdown.

But he did comply with their demand to publish Operation Yellowhammer documents — the government’s forecast for a no-deal Brexit. The papers warn of a risk of civil disorder, rising food prices and medicine shortages. Trade between Northern Ireland and the Republic could be severely disrupted.


Barnier: Still nothing concrete from Britain

THE EU is still waiting for ‘concrete’ proposals from the UK that would end the deadlock, the bloc’s chief Brexit negotiator has revealed. Michel Barnier said they were ready to ‘examine objectively any legally operational’ plans. After talks with Mr Barnier, David Sassoli, European Parliament president, spoke about the government’s decision to prorogue parliament until October 14. ‘If you can’t discuss the destiny of a country in a parliament, where can you do it?’ he said.

‘We need more officers to police Kent’s roads’

POLICE officers from all over the country should be drafted in to help handle traffic in Kent if there is a no-deal Brexit, the chairman of the county council has said. Paul Carter told BBC Radio 4’s Today that he wanted ‘boots on the ground’ and assurances that officers and Highways England staff are ready to ‘man the pumps’ and ‘keep Kent’s road network open’. Mr Carter, who leads the Tory-controlled council, said he still needs ‘satisfactory answers’ on how customs clearance is going to work for hauliers.

Bank to pump €20bn a month into Eurozone

BILLIONS of newly created euros are to be pumped into the system in the face of Brexit and the US-China trade conflict — to help the 19 countries that use the currency. The European Central Bank will spend €20billion a month buying government and corporate bonds for as long as needed, to reduce borrowing costs and raise inflation. It will also cut the rate on deposits it takes from banks to minus 0.5 per cent from 0.4 per cent, pushing them to lend money rather than see it dwindle.