Andrew Murrison, Tory MP, Branded 'Stupid' Or 'Liar' For Astounding Article 50 Tweet

'Your lack of expertise is concerning considering your office.'
<strong>Andrew Murrison (left) with his dog Molly at the Westminster dog of the year awards in 2009.</strong>
Andrew Murrison (left) with his dog Molly at the Westminster dog of the year awards in 2009.
Clive Gee/PA Archive

A Tory MP has prompted disbelief for a tweet questioning the consequences of the High Court ruling on Article 50.

On Saturday, Andrew Murrison implied the decision could affect future general election results.

The tweet was met with a damning response from many including writer Owen Jones and actor Stephen Mangan.

The MP for South West Wiltshire was clearly rattled by the response.

The issue with Murrison’s original tweet is two-fold.

Firstly, the High Court ruling last week to force Theresa May to seek parliamentary approval before triggering Article 50 was not an attempt to change the outcome of the result.

As Gina Miller, the woman who brought the case, told Nigel Farage on Sunday: “We have a representative democracy, which means they have to go in there and debate, that’s what Parliament’s for.

“That’s what you argued for the whole way through, Parliamentary sovereignty.”

Farage replied: “This not about whether Parliament is sovereign, it’s about whether the British people are sovereign. That’s the real argument.”

Miller countered: “You should actually be my biggest fan because I’ve just created the legal certainty so that Theresa May can now go ahead, rather than appealing, have the debate and leave.”

Secondly, whereas referendums by law are only advisory (a point conceded by Farage in the same interview), the High Court has no power rule on the result of a general election except in exceptional circumstances.

The only recent example of the High Court intervening in such matters is the case of Phil Woolas who in 2010 was elected Labour MP for Oldham East and Saddleworth.

After his Lib-Dem opponent, Elwyn Watkins,brought a case against him, he was found to have breached section 106 of the Representation of the People Act 1983 by the use of photoshopped campaign leaflets falsely linking Watkins to Muslim extremists.

The specially convened election court for the case called for a fresh vote, a decision upheld by the High Court.

Murrison did receive some support from fellow Tory Karl McCartney, although this too did not go down well.

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