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Boris Johnson could be in contempt of Parliament over EU letters, says John McDonnell

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Boris Johnson could be in contempt of Parliament over EU letters, says John McDonnell

Boris Johnson deliberately attempted to undermine Parliament by sending two contradictory letters to EU leaders, John McDonnell has suggested.

The Prime Minister was forced to send a letter to EU leaders requesting a three-month extension to the Brexit deadline after losing a crunch Commons vote on Saturday, pushing any vote on his new deal into next week.

Johnson, who previously pledged not to negotiate any delay, sent one unsigned letter from Parliament with the request alongside a second letter outlining his personal objections to the plans.

But speaking to Sky's Sophie Ridge, John McDonnell said the contradictory messages could see him facing challenges from both Parliament and the courts.

"He may well be in contempt of Parliament or the courts themselves because he's clearly trying to undermine the first letter and not signing the letter," he said.

"He's behaving a bit like a spoilt brat. Parliament made a decision, he should abide by it and this idea that you send another letter contradicting the first, I think it flies in the face of what both Parliament and the courts have decided."

His comments come after SNP Joanna Cherry branded the Prime Minister's move "pathetic" as she vowed to put the decision before the courts.

Cherry, who spearheaded the successful High Court challenge against prorogation, added: "Boris Johnson promised Scottish court he would comply with Benn Act & not seek to frustrate it.

"Looks like he's breaking both promises. Fortunately no need to raise new proceedings, our existing case is back in court on Monday."

Meanwhile, McDonnell said Johnson was treating MPs with an "arrogant sense of entitlement".

"Johnson is a Prime Minister who is now treating Parliament and the Courts with contempt," he tweeted.

"His juvenile refusal to even sign the letter confirms what we always suspected that Johnson with his arrogant sense of entitlement considers he is above the law and above accountability.

"Message to Johnson. Nobody, no matter how high, is above the law and has the right to tear up our parliamentary constitution."

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