End for Bercow? Brexiteer MP will lead committee to investigate the ‘role of the Speaker’

Posted on Oct 22 2019 - 1:05am by admin

Sir Bernard was speaking after Mr Bercow’s controversial decision not to allow a vote on Boris Johnson’s Brexit deal, an announcement which resulted in uproar in the Commons. His observation triggered an angry response from Mr Bercow, who accused him of “grumbling” because he “does not like the judgement”. Sir Bernard said: “I note the dilemmas you face means that on occasion you have to please some and not others.

“But it is becoming remarkable how often you please one lot and not the other lot.

“It is most unusual for a Speaker so often to prevent the Government having debated the matters which the Government wishes to put before the house.

“This motion was never voted upon on Saturday.

“It ceased to exist as soon as it was amended.”

Referring to an amendment tabled by Oliver Letwin on Saturday, which says Parliament will withhold approval of the prime minister’s deal until the withdrawal bill implementing Brexit has been passed, Sir Bernard said: “I confess that I am surprised that the reason for my right honourable friend for West Dorset’s amendment being tabled failed to enter your head, because the reason was there was an anxiety that the law was not going to be complied with and the letter would not be sent so the circumstances have changed in that respect.

“Can I just alert you and the House Mr Speaker to the fact that my committee will be holding a hearing on the role of the Speaker, it has to be said somewhat in the light of recent months.”

Mr Bercow replied: “I hear what he says his committee conducting an inquiry into the role of the Speaker and that’s absolutely proper.

“I think he said something about tomorrow and evidence being taken and witnesses and that’s absolutely right.

“I don’t know what he expects me to deduce from that.

“I wouldn’t dream of seeking to comment adversely, still let to trespass, which would be quite improper to seek to do, upon the legitimate autonomy of any select committee of this House.

“It’s quite proper for his committee to do that and I’m entirely untroubled by it.

“What I say to the honourable gentleman with respect to how unfortunate that one side seems to be disadvantaged by judgements, I have not off the top of my head a count of the number of times that I have granted in the past urgent questions and in same case emergency debates to people of what was then called a Eurosceptic persuasion and would now be called a Brexiteer disposition and the honourable gentleman was one of them.

“I don’t recall the honourable gentleman complaining that I was giving him too many opportunities to make his point and it was not a fair use of the House’s time and it was very unfair on his party and it was a violation of the rights of his Government.”

“What I’m saying to the honourable gentleman is that when he’s getting the decisions in his favour he was not grumbling.

“He’s grumbling now because he does not like the judgement.”

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