Speaker Watch: Bad Bercow’s Jesse Norman Low Blow

The Speaker has been behaving with almost perfect professionalism all this year. He knows his moment of mortal danger is approaching and is palliating his enemies in the House. But Bad Bercow can’t be kept down. He looked around the chamber this afternoon and saw his old enemy Jesse Norman (No. 14 on the order paper) not in his place. So very early, and well out of the running order, he called him. “Jesse Norman!” Nothing. “Jesse NORMAN! Is he not here?” He wasn’t going to take the chance that Norman had been momentarily delayed and would be in shortly.

Norman was a moving spirit of the Governance committee that humiliated Bercow in the fiasco of the new clerk’s appointment. “Got him!” Bercow would have thought.

The rush of applause that greeted Lindsay Hoyle taking the chair for the Budget debate shows that there is a popular contender for the position. A candidate makes the difference. Although Bercow seems to be carrying all before him, it is still possible to hope.

UPDATE: Guido understands that Norman was slightly delayed by a bicycle puncture.


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Quote of the Day

In response to Dominic Grieve’s rumoured plans to request the Government hand over private communication about prorogation to Parliament, Cummings said:

“For a supposedly adequate lawyer who loves the ECHR, Grieve doesn’t seem to realise that his request for private messages is blatantly illegal and will be rejected by the Cabinet Office. We love the rule of law in No10.”

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