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Lord Sumption referred to the actions of the Government in the context of the prorogation of Parliament as ‘Constitutional Vandalism’

Gina Miller Subsequently won her case that the Prime Minister had acted unlawfully with that famous televised Judgment delivered by Lady Hale.

The Prime Minister again presides over a team accused of disregarding the rules over arranging non-socially distanced events during the beginning of lock down in May 2020.

Whilst listening to the various outraged accounts of sacrifices made by others complying with the rules in May 2020 at considerable personal and emotional cost, I have been preparing for a Hearing on 25/01/2022 in relation to the first 276 cases brought by Deaf BSL speakers for the lack of Interpreters during the first Covid lockdown.

In May 2020, the Cabinet Office was justifying its decision not to provide a BSL Interpreter for national Covid broadcasts because,

“In line with Public Health England (PHE) guidelines, it is not possible to safely include a physical British Sign Language (BSL) interpreter in the room for daily briefings as this would require additional operations staff such as an additional cameraman to be present. At Downing Street the Government is working within the constraints of a historical site with limited space. Everyone in government continues to practice social distancing, which means staying two metres apart where possible, and journalists are currently attending the daily briefings remotely rather than in person in order to prevent unnecessary risk. Having an interpreter physically attend, along with any additional staff required to facilitate broadcast of the interpretation, contradicts the PHE guidelines, and potentially puts them and others at risk. For these reasons the Government believes that it is right to limit the number of people present in the daily briefings to protect all those who must be present from additional risks.”

The above extract is a quote from paragraph 49 of the Judgment of Mr Justice Fordham in the case of (Rowley, R (On the Application Of) v Minister for the Cabinet Office [2021] EWHC 2108 (Admin) (28 July 2021)

It seems clear to me from the recital of the evidence set out by the Court that the evidence given to answers to Parliamentary questions, and indeed to the High Court was not honest.

This goes beyond the betrayal of confidence between the population and the Executive to a blatant disregard for the Courts, and the judicial system.

The grand irony of this is that the Hearing on the 25th is an attempt by Government to argue that the 276 claims should be struck out for ‘abuse of process’.

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