Gina Miller: The woman who fought prorogation in court

Profile: The campaigner who mounted a legal challenge against suspension of parliament

Entrepreneur Gina Miller rose to prominence when she challenged the UK government in 2016 over its authority to trigger article 50 without parliamentary approval. When the supreme court ruled in her favour in January 2017, she became a hate figure for many Brexit supporters, and was subject to intense vitriol.

In the same month as the judgement, the Metropolitan Police revealed it had issued eight “cease and desist” notices to people who had sent Ms Miller threatening messages.

In July, Rhodri Philipps, the fourth Viscount St Davids, was jailed for 12 weeks for directing “extreme racial abuse” at her and offering money to anyone who would run over and kill Miller.

The abuse led her to have 24-hour security measures installed in her home, hire security guards and often conceal her identity in public.

She was born in British Guiana (now Guyana) to parents of Indian descent. Her self-made father, a barrister, would become the country’s attorney general.

In her memoir Rise, she wrote: “As a child of the Commonwealth, I had been brought up to believe Great Britain was the promised land, a culture where the rule of law was observed and decency was embedded in the national fabric.”

Early years

Aged 11, she was sent to England to board at an all-girls school in Eastbourne on the Sussex coast. Owing to currency restrictions in Guyana, that meant a shortage of money at home, and when 13 she worked as a chambermaid while still at school.

After school she studied law at the University of East London but quit after being viciously attacked in the street. After having a child, Lucy-Ann, who suffered brain damage, with her first husband, she went on to study marketing at the University of North London, while a single parent and working.

She subsequently led the online wealth manager SCM Direct and the True and Fair Foundation charity, both of which she founded, as well as campaigning on Brexit.

In 2017, she was named the UK’s most influential black person and was also number 26 on the Asian power list of most influential British Asians.

In September last year, she launched a campaign “to end the Brexit chaos”.

Ahead of her challenge in the high court in London to the proroguing of parliament, formally supported by the former prime minister John Major and the shadow attorney general, Shami Chakrabarti, she described the prorogation as "a brazen attempt, of truly historical magnitude, to prevent the executive being held accountable for its conduct before parliament". – Guardian