Lib Dem parliamentary candidate Max Wilkinson has called on Cheltenham’s MP to follow through on his promise to resign from government if it was found to have broken the law.
Today, the Supreme Court ruled that Boris Johnson’s decision to suspend parliament for five weeks in the run-up to Brexit was unlawful.
Just two weeks ago, Tory MP Alex Chalk told constituents that he would resign from his government role if there was “a scintilla of a suggestion” that the government acted unlawfully.
Speaking after the Supreme Court ruling this morning, Max said: “Alex Chalk‘s flip-flopping on Brexit must now finally come to an end.
“After years of changing his mind and playing both sides, he took a job in the no deal government that backed prorogation, but reassured Cheltenham people that his red line would be if the government had broken the law.
“In light of the Supreme Court judgement, he must resign - not just because he should keep his word to local people, but also because as a barrister he has a moral duty to uphold the law.”
Mr Johnson suspended parliament – a process known as proroguing – for five weeks earlier this month and faced two legal challenges against the decision.
Both challenges reached the Supreme Court, the highest court in the land, for a three-day hearing last week.
Today, Supreme Court president Lady Hale ruled that the government had acted unlawfully by stopping MPs carrying out their duties in the run-up to Brexit on October 31.
The ruling appears to leave Mr Chalk with no option but to resign from government having spelt out his resignation “red line” at a Q&A with constituents in Pitville Park on September 10.
During the Q&A, Mr Chalk told constituents: "If there is a scintilla of a suggestion that the British government would act unlawfully, forget it, game over.
"That is a really important red line for me.”
Last month, campaign group Cheltenham for Europe held a 200-strong demonstration outside the Henrietta Street office of Mr Chalk protesting against the government’s decision to suspend parliament from mid-September.
Mr Chalk, a former barrister, said he was against the proroguing of parliament then but refused calls to resign from his government role in opposition to the move.
And when parliament reconvened earlier this month, he voted in support of the government’s option for a no deal Brexit, despite having previously voiced his opposition to a no deal situation.
In July, the Tory MP told a People’s Vote rally that “sensible, pragmatic moderates should choose to fight” no deal.
Yet just weeks later, Mr Chalk was appointed Private Parliamentary Secretary to Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab, a fierce no deal advocate.