Theresa May urged to calm 'chilling' backlash over judges' Brexit ruling

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at 2016.11.05
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Theresa May urged to calm 'chilling' backlash over judges' Brexit ruling

Saturday, November 5th, 2016 8:27am

The Prime Minister has been urged by Tory MPs to defend the independence of the judiciary after attacks on three High Court judges who ruled over Brexit.

Former ministers claim the stinging criticism of the trio was “chilling”, “smacks of the fascist state”, and they want Theresa May to take action to calm the backlash.

Newspaper headlines included calling the judges “Enemies of the People” and there was also criticism of them from some Conservative MPs.

The anger was sparked by Thursday’s ruling that the Government must seek MPs’ approval before triggering Article 50 – the formal process of leaving the EU.

Bob Neill, the Conservative chairman of the justice select committee, said the attacks were “threatening the independence of our judiciary” and had “no place in a civilised land”.

He told The Times: “All ministers from the Prime Minister down must now make clear that the independence of the judiciary is fundamental to our democracy.

“You have to respect that even if you think they have got a decision wrong.”

Ex-attorney general Dominic Grieve described the attacks as “chilling and outrageous” and “smacking of the fascist state”.

He said reading some of the press coverage was like “living in Robert Mugabe’s Zimbabwe…I think there’s a danger of a sort of mob psyche developing”.

Former minister and prominent Remain campaigner Anna Soubry said some media reports were “inciting hatred”.

It comes as Mrs May suffered a setback after a pro-Brexit Conservative MP resigned over “irreconcilable policy differences” with the Government.

Stephen Phillips announced he was quitting over its failure to appreciate the need to consult Parliament over Brexit.

His resignation as MP for Sleaford and North Hykeham has fuelled speculation the PM will call an early election.

However, a No 10 source insisted Mrs May stood by her declaration that she would not go to the country before 2020.

Meanwhile, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has demanded Mrs May set out her Brexit plans “without delay”.

In a speech to the Class think tank later, he will call for the Government’s negotiating terms be transparent and accountable to Parliament.

He will also insist that all UK businesses should be given “assurances” over the impact of Brexit to match those made by the Government to Japanese car-maker Nissan.

He will say: “Labour accepts and respects the decision of the British people to leave the European Union. But there must be transparency and accountability to Parliament about the Government’s plans.”

Meanwhile, the woman behind the successful High Court challenge on triggering Brexit has been subjected to a torrent of online abuse, including rape and death threats.

Gina Miller, who was born in Guyana in South America, has also been the target of racist rants by internet trolls, who have called for her to be deported.

:: Analysis: Brexit court appeal ‘final straw’ for Stephen Phillips

Sky News (c) Sky News 2016: Theresa May urged to calm ‘chilling’ backlash over judges’ Brexit ruling

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Published at Sat, 05 Nov 2016 08:39:01 +0000

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