A minister has been slammed for suggesting that "many people" believe judges are biased about Brexit.

His comments came after the Inner House of the Court of Session in Edinburgh rules that Boris Johnson's suspension of Parliament was unlawful.

Kwasi Kwarteng said many people were saying that judges were not impartial.

Joanna Cherry, one of those who led the Scottish court challenge described Mr Kwarteng's comments as "disgraceful sophistry" adding that it was "basically rabble rousing against the Scottish judiciary without the courage to own what he’s doing".

READ MORE: Court of Session rules proroguing Parliament was unlawful

"This minority Tory government  is a threat to democracy & the rule of law," she added.


Ex-Lib Dem leader Sir Menzies Campbell said the comments were "ill-judged".

Mr Kwarteng, who campaigned for Brexit in 2016, asked about Downing Street's initial reaction to the Scottish judgment that it was politically motivated, told the BBC: "This Brexit process has brought the courts, judges, lawyers into the political process to a far greater extent than any of us have ever seen.

"We have had people contesting judgments, people contesting the right of the Prime Minister, or the circumstances in which he wishes prorogation. "The more the courts get involved in politics that is a detriment, not only to politics but also to the courts.

"I am not saying this, but many people are saying that the judges are biased, the judges are getting involved in politics. That's what people are saying.

"What I have said is that I think they are impartial. But many people, many Leave voters, many people up and down the country are beginning to question the partiality of the judges, that's just a fact.

"What I am saying, and we can't turn a blind eye to this, that people are very very dubious about the process, and the extent to which lawyers and judges are interfering in politics is something that concerns many people."


Lord Campbell, who was Liberal Democrat leader from 2006-7, said: "I would expect a government minister to understand the importance of the independence of the judiciary and not make any comments that might undermine public perceptions," he said.

Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick distance himself from Mr Kwarteng's comments when asked about them on Robert Peston's ITV programme on Wednesday.

He said: "We must back the judges in this country to uphold the rule of law.

READ MORE: LIVE: Parliament suspension ruled 'unlawful'

"I would go back to, though, the comment that was made by the High Court which said I think that the words they used were, 'You have to be very cautious before you intrude into debates between the executive and Parliament'.

"And, so, obviously this will be a matter that will now be decided by the Supreme Court but I suspect they will be mulling over those issues."

Mr Kwarteng's views were also criticised by former Justice Secretary Sir David Lidington.