The Justice Secretary says he will take "whatever step I deem necessary" to be true to the rule of law after MPs heard the Attorney General has threatened to step down unless the Prime Minister seeks a Brexit extension.

Justice Secretary Robert Buckland, who is South Swindon's MP, said he takes his sworn duties "extremely seriously" and will make sure he stays "true to that oath" if the Government refuses to adhere to the law requiring an extension to the October 31 date for leaving the EU.

He also confirmed there is no place for an "American-style" system for the appointment of judges in the UK, saying he will defend the independence of the judiciary "vigorously".

Speaking in the Commons, shadow justice secretary Richard Burgon said: "We have seen the Justice Secretary forced to take to Twitter to defend the independence of the judiciary and the rule of law after recent briefings from Number 10 Downing Street.

"He may well have to do that again later today after this morning's headlines.

"The Attorney General has briefed the press that he will resign if the Government refuses to adhere to the law demanding an extension to rule out no-deal. Would the Justice Secretary do the same?"

Mr Buckland replied: "I hope that people, members of this house and elsewhere feel that I have done my duty and discharged the duties under my oath, and I will continue to do that, and I will take whatever step I deem necessary in order to make sure that I have been true to that oath and true to the rule of law."

Asked about claims politicians may seek to influence the law through the appointment of sympathetic judges, Mr Buckland said: "An independent judiciary is the cornerstone of our constitution and our democracy.

"We are rightly proud of our world-class judiciary and, as Lord Chancellor, I have sworn an oath to defend their independence, and I take that extremely seriously. I will continue to defend their independence vigorously."

Tory former minister and chairman of the Justice Committee, Bob Neill said: "Will you confirm there is no place for political involvement in the appointment of judges, and no question but that the rulings of the courts must be observed by all?"

Mr Buckland replied: "I am more than happy to confirm all of those points made so ably by the chair of the Justice Select Committee."

He added said: "I think it always bears repeating that the judiciary are not motivated by political beliefs or motivations."

Mr Buckland said: "If we ended up at an American-style approval system, then I think we would all be the poorer for it."