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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.

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