Speaker Delays Vote as Labour Recall MPs to Westminster

The Speaker in the chair just now looks like he’s been awake for a hundred years. He is not taking the news of today’s Motion in the spirit of democracy.

The Government wants to make the re-election of the Speaker a secret vote. It is a very tender subject.

Elections and re-elections of all other chairs is by a secret vote. This is as it should be.

The re-election of the Speaker is the one exception – it was a deal done between the Speaker and Harriet Harman at the end of the last parliament.

What reckless MP would vote against a sitting Speaker in an open ballot?

This Speaker is vengeful, political, and partisan. Anyone voting against him would fear they’d never be called again.

The House is sentimental, conservative and respectful. A sitting Speaker has an enormous power of incumbency.  A secret ballot is the only way of fairly holding a Speaker in check.

The fact that Labour is spitting tacks – and the fact they refer to Bercow as “our Speaker” – shows how partisan this issue is.

Labour have put a three-line whip on and are recalling Members from their constituencies. Protecting their Speaker is more important than fighting the election.

Knowing the depth and extent of Bercow’s artistry – is there any way, by some procedural trick that he can stop this Motion being voted on? “There’s nothing in the book to allow it,” says one who knows, “but then, he writes the book.”

Bercow has scheduled three UQs. This will at least give time for Labour MPs to get back from their constituencies.

Speaker Watch will be watching how this plays out during the day.

Team Bercow’s Lobbying Letter in Full

Julian Lewis makes his case:

julian-lewis-letter

Public votes as a show of loyalty with implicit menace have been the tool of insecure tyrants throughout history. Bercow if he had any honour would know that since he doesn’t command the respect of a substantial proportion of the House would go. He doesn’t. If as much as a quarter of the House has no confidence in the Speaker he should make way…

IPSO Clears Sunday Mirror Over Brooks Newmark Sting

The Independent Press Standards Organisation has cleared the Sunday Mirror of any wrongdoing over the sexting sting on Tory MP Brooks Newmark. Despite unfounded allegations made by the the less popular elements of the Twittersphere and the sloppy journalism of Media Guardian, among others, the press regulator found that the use of subterfuge was justified. The ruling also accepted that the story was in the public interest because it exposed “serious impropriety” by Newmark.

The CEO of IPSO Matt Tee said:

“The editors’ code prohibits subterfuge unless in the public interest, and only then where there is no other practical means of obtaining the story. After a lengthy investigation we have found that the subterfuge used was justified at each stage of the investigation and publication was in the public interest.”

As Guido said all along, the story was legitimate and carried out in the public interest. Brooks Newmark was one of the founders of “Women2Win”, a campaign to get more Conservative women into politics. This was no fishing operation, it was a narrowly targeted effort. As the later revelations of his affair further proved, and IPSO have finally agreed, the investigation was justified. Subterfuge and clandestine methods will continue to be used to go after wrong ‘uns – there is no other way.

D-Day For Bercow Tomorrow

The Mail reports that the LibDems have agreed to support the Tories in a bombshell vote tomorrow on changing parliamentary rules to allow a secret ballot to eject the Speaker.

A motion will be put before the House proposing a Procedure Committee recommendation to allow a secret ballot. Despite Labour claims of a Tory stitch up, the recommendation was made by a cross-party committee including Labour MPs. Guido is told that the move was made by William Hague at 5:30pm this evening, and that “Gove must think we have the votes”. The LibDems, and their Deputy Leader of the Commons Tom Brake, were convinced to support the motion after turning on Bercow “when he gave Danny Alexander a bollocking” last week. It is said that the vast majority of the Tory backbenches will support the motion, as well as much of the payroll vote.

The Speaker cannot be seen to be ringing people up asking for support ahead of the vote, so his lieutenants will be working overtime. UKIP will be supporting Labour in the vote, yet most Labour MPs are back in their constituencies. Who will be in the chair: Bercow, or Lindsay Hoyle, the man the plotters want to replace him?

BBC Editor Who Bit Colleague Was Made Director General

Worth remembering the time an editor on the BBC News “turned, snarled, and sank his teeth into [the] left upper arm” of a junior colleague. The biter? Mark Thompson, later promoted to Director General. Clarkson for DG…

Via @liarpoliticians

FINAL PMQs SKETCH: Commons Warns to Valedictory Dave

gallery_guido (2)

There behind the PM were the Home Secretary looking sly, the Chancellor looking cruel and the Chief Whip looking even more pleased with himself than usual. Hard to imagine the Tories’ broadening their appeal with any of them.

Cameron was entirely relaxed, amiable, in charge. He flattened Miliband with his tax avoidance answers (no rise in VAT, he promised, I wonder how he’ll get out of that . . . oh! By resigning just before the rise!). He praised certain opposition members, teased them, laughed along with them. The Commons rather warmed to him and his valedictory ways.

Win or lose, Cameron has created and for five years held together an unlikely coalition and presided over an amazing period of job creation.

Gallery witnesses report Mrs Cameron and their daughter were up in the gallery, and little Nancy was punching the air when her father made some crushing sally. She might have felt superior in mental age to the scenes below. At the phrase “Alex Salmond’s poodle” the House went “Woof woof! Woof woof! Woof woof woof!”

Continue reading

Simon Heffer ‘Quits’ Mail

His Saturday column has been gone for a while he has been writing less and less regularly for the paper, and has been increasingly Ukippy for some time.

His pro-Tory Budget piece was not enough to save him.

Mail sources say he has resigned, officially.

There is some speculation he is off to the Sunday Telegraph.

Paging Peter Oborne, paging Peter Oborne…

James May Hints He’s Off With Clarkson

“We work very much as a package.”

Buy ITV and BSkyB…

UPDATE:

may2

Looks like Hammond’s off too:

Clarkson Out: Buy ITV Shares

jeremy-clarkson

Statement from Tony Hall:

It is with great regret that I have told Jeremy Clarkson today that the BBC will not be renewing his contract. It is not a decision I have taken lightly. I have done so only after

[…]

+ READ MORE +

Cam Slums It in Commons Canteen Post-PMQs

Making a change from his usual post-PMQs roast beef and claret in the Members’ Dining Room, Dave took Sam and the kids to the Commons canteen for lunch today. Looks like Nancy has ended her Clarkson hunger strike too. Didn’t […]

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Two-Faced Chuka Refuses to Rule Out Toxic ‘Jobs Tax’

That sound you can hear is Labour pulping thousands of their Tory VAT leaflets. They won’t be using yesterday’s attack ad again either, which bashed current and former Tory chancellors for saying they had “no plans” to raise VAT, then […]

+ READ MORE +

Cameron Rules Out VAT Rise in PMQs Miliband Mauling

[…]

+ READ MORE +



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