He knew the camera was on him, too. Shameless.
The Speaker’s bad temper continued at PMQs, where he bizarrely banned Tory MP Chris Philp from asking, entirely reasonably, if green taxes have contributed to the steel industry crisis. Curiously, Bercow ruled this had “nothing to do with government policy” and prevented the PM from answering:
Except, it demonstrably does. The Telegraph, Mail and even the Wall Street Journal have all run articles this week about how green taxes have impacted on the steel industry. The PM was unimpressed. That’s two weeks in a row that Cameron been prevented from landing a blow by the Speaker…
You might have thought the Business Secretary’s statement on steel job losses is an appropriate use of Commons time. Not so, according to John Bercow, who says Sajid Javid went on for too long. Here is the extraordinary dressing down:
Earlier Bercow swiped at the Chinese by noting “the Indian PM is representative of a great democracy”. What’s bitten him today?
MPs have been getting it in the neck this week for 9p mileage claims, but this is something to really get peeved about. Some top digging by Press Association has found John Bercow billed the taxpayer £172 to be chauffeur-driven to a conference at Carlton House Terrace, just 0.7 miles from parliament. And that’s not all:
- Bercow used an official car to travel to Canterbury to see Justin Welby enthroned in 2013 – at a cost of £524
- He travelled 1.5 miles to dinner at the Dorchester Hotel, billing £144
- Somehow managed to blow £168 travelling from King’s Cross to Speaker’s House
- Billed £367 to be driven to the University of Bedfordshire, where he gave a lecture on reforming parliament and warn about the consequences of the expenses scandal
- Kept a chauffeur-driven car waiting while he attended a memorial service for Malcolm Wicks in Croydon, costing £289 for five hours
He is the “reforming Speaker”…
Was it Sally wot swung it?
UPDATE: Cameron’s kind and generous welcome:
The Prime Minister told the 1922 Committee this morning that the government would be re-electing John Bercow when the Commons convenes next week.
Apparently Dave said “I think we’ve got more on our plate than the Speaker”.
Intriguingly, Bercow has more on his plate at the moment too. Namely being cuckolded by his cousin.
After ten years of sniping from the sidelines, Guido has decided to up his game. This website has never been John Bercow’s biggest fan, but now it is time to throw down the gauntlet…
When he was a lowly backbencher, Bercow maxed out his expenses. He has done little to reform his ways as Speaker. A running total is over half a million in clothes and limos…
Bercow told the Commons last week that he was ‘not going anywhere’, but Guido intends to see him on the ground in Buckingham. The nomination papers are in, the deposit is paid. Bring it on, shorty…
Speaking for the sore losers – that was the most partisan act of chairmanship ever seen in the Commons.
Through the Urgent Question before and the debate itself, Bercow called almost no one who would speak in favour of the Motion.
Twenty-odd Tories of the Speaker’s party swung the vote in his favour.
And now Bercow is the most powerful man in Parliament. When the House reconvenes, there probably won’t even be a cry against his re-eclection (and as Gerald Kaufman is likely to be Father of the House, any cry made will probably go unheard).
He is immoveable now. He will serve the whole of the coming parliament and probably go well into the following one.
What a vengeance he will deliver! It will almost be worth the watching…
In October 2000 there was a row about the how the Speaker of the House of Commons was elected, with Tony Benn demanding a ballot for the role. A plucky backbencher weighed in, telling the BBC, that he believed this ballot should be conducted in secret:
“In view of growing concern that the government whips will seek to browbeat people into voting for a preferred candidate, can we have guidance on the possibility of ensuring that the election will be conducted by secret ballot?”
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.[…]
Julian Lewis makes his case:
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.[…]