By Rob Powell, political correspondent
The former director of public prosecutions has told Sky News that Boris Johnson could go to prison if he refuses to delay Brexit in the face of court action.
The prime minister has said he will not agree an extension, despite parliament passing a law forcing him to do so.
Lord MacDonald, who held the senior prosecutor post between 2003 and 2008, said legal action would mean a court ordering that “the law should be followed”.
“A refusal in the face of that would amount to contempt of court” which could “find that person in prison”, he said.
The cross-bench peer said this was “not an extreme outcome” as it was “conventional” that individuals who refuse to “purge their contempt” are sent to prison.
However, it is also possible that a court could demand another figure in government authorises the delay.
Lord MacDonald added Mr Johnson and his senior adviser Dominic Cummings might have found a way not to have to delay Brexit, saying: “I expect they have some ideas that they’re working on.”