Boris Johnson’s suspension of parliament has been ruled as unlawful by judges at the Court of Session – Scotland’s highest civil court.

It comes as No 10 is warned about the danger of losing seats and falling short of a majority at a general election, as the Conservatives’ lead over Labour was cut to one point in the latest ComRes poll.

Labour’s deputy leader Tom Watson, meanwhile, is set to demand Jeremy Corbyn backs a second Brexit referendum before any election in a speech this morning.

BREAKING: The Court of Session in Edinburgh has ruled the government’s suspension of parliament was unlawful.


Chuka Umunna has raised the possibility No 10 strategist Dominic Cummings may have wrongly carried out work for the Tory party while being paid by the taxpayer.


The Lib Dem MP said it was “clearly unsatisfactory” that he had to wait until December to hear via a freedom of information request whether the prime minister’s right-hand man has broken the rules.


What do you think of the idea of a bridge from Scotland to Northern Ireland?


According to Channel 4 News, the civil service drew up feasibility studies examining an ambitious bridge over the Irish Sea during the Tory leadership contest because frontrunner Boris Johnson had express an interest.


Apparently Johnson asked officials if “WW2 munitions in the Irish Sea” could scupper his hopes of getting a bridge. 


Labour frontbencher Angela Rayner is not impressed.


Labour MP Gareth Snell has claimed the numbers “simply do not exist in parliament for a referendum”, adding the public had “no appetite” for a second EU poll.


He is one of those in favour of voting for an amended version of Theresa May’s deal.


“The Withdrawal Agreement Bill, which is a very different thing – that was the outcome of the cross-party negotiations – ought to be presented to parliament as a basis on which trying to find a deal.”


The BBC’s Norman Smith suggests not everyone is clear what the official party line is. For the sake of clarity, Jeremy Corbyn has said he wants a second referendum, but wants credible options for both remain and leave on the ballot.


Nigel Farage’s repeated calls for an electoral pact with the Tories hasn’t been getting too much media attention. So the Brexit Party has bought a wraparound advert on the front page of The Daily Express, and a full page ad in The Sun.


This morning’s ComRes poll showing a one-point lead for the Tories over Labour follows a Deltapoll survey which also suggested the gap between the big two parties is narrowing.


It found Jeremy Corbyn’s party gaining four points, and only three points behind Boris Johnson’s Conservatives. A separate ComRes poll found Labour would be ahead of the Tories – if an election is held after extending the Brexit deadline beyond 31 October.




International students will be able to stay in the UK for two years after graduating, to find work, under new proposals announced by Boris Johnson.


We have all the details here.


Labour MP Owen Smith – the former leadership candidate – has said the party “should be clear that Labour doesn’t believe Brexit is a good thing”.


Asked about the argument for which Tom Watson was making the case, Smith told the Today programme:


“An argument in principle that there is no such thing as a good Brexit deal, that all versions of Brexit are going to leave Britain poorer and more isolated in the world, and that’s why there is no good reason why Labour should be supporting that.


“It’s at odds with our values, it’s at odds with the electoral interests of the Labour Party and it’s at odds with the prospects for a better future for our constituents.


“So we should be opposed to it and we should be clear that Labour doesn’t believe Brexit is a good thing and critically we shouldn’t be bamboozled or bullied by Boris Johnson into going into an election on his terms.”

German chancellor Angela Merkel has said there was still “every chance” for a Brexit deal, although Berlin is ready if it doesn’t happen.


“We still have every chance of getting an orderly (Brexit) and the German government will do everything it can to make that possible – right up to the last day. But I also say we are prepared for a disorderly Brexit,” Merkel told the German parliament.


“But the fact remains that after the withdrawal of Britain, we have an economic competitor at our door, even if we want to keep close economic, foreign and security cooperation and friendly relations,” Merkel added.


Angela Merkel speaks to Germany’s lower house (AFP)


Labour’s deputy leader Tom Watson will call for the party to demand a second Brexit second referendum and it must take place before a general election, in a fresh clash with Jeremy Corbyn. 


All the details here.


Business secretary Andrea Leadsom has been asked about the prospect of a compromise deal that could see a common agriculture zone across Ireland – the so-called Northern Ireland-only backstop.


 “Well we will not do anything that undermines the UK or indeed UK internal market,” she told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme.


“So we are looking at getting a deal, getting a good deal that works for the UK and for the EU that is different to the one that was negotiated previously because that couldn’t get through parliament.


“So our absolute focus is on getting a good deal on October 17th when the EU Council meets and so we’re looking at creative ways to ensure that there won’t need to be a backstop in that Withdrawal Agreement.”

DUP leader Arlene Foster has warned Boris Johnson that any attempt to solve the crisis by limiting the backstop to apply only to Northern Ireland would be “doomed to failure”.


The latest ComRes survey shows the Tory lead over Labour being cut to just one point. According to the ComRes chairman, it would mean the Conservatives losing seats in parliament.



Good morning and welcome to The Independent‘s live coverage of events at Westminster and beyond.