Jeremy Corbyn accused Boris Johnson of treating democracy with disdain and called on him to quit – but drew back from calling for an immediate general election.
In a conference speech brought forward from Wednesday because of the Supreme Court’s decision that the suspension of Parliament was unlawful, the Labour leader said Mr Johnson “has been found to have misled the country”.
He told activists in Brighton: “The Prime Minister acted illegally when he tried to shut down opposition to his reckless and disastrous plan to crash out of the European Union without a deal.
“But he has failed. He will never shut down our democracy or silence the voices of the people.”
He said the Government will be “held to account for what it has done” when Parliament resumes on Wednesday.
He added: “Boris Johnson has been found to have misled the country. This unelected Prime Minister should now resign.
That would make him the shortest serving British prime minister in history and rightly so.
Mr Corbyn claimed the Prime Minister was “part of an elite that disdains democracy”.
He said: “Let me quote the Supreme Court’s conclusion: ‘Unlawful, null and of no effect and should be quashed’ – they’ve got the prime minister down to a tee.”
But he signalled that he was not about to table a motion of no confidence in Mr Johnson, arguing that an election could only take place once the risk of a no-deal Brexit had been ruled out.
“This crisis can only be settled with a general election. That election needs to take place as soon as this government’s threat of a disastrous no-deal is taken off the table.