Duddridge Launches Guided Missile at Bercow


James Duddridge walloped the Speaker with a stinging question that homed in on its target with flawless accuracy:

“This a disturbing report which identifies a number of unacceptable behaviours… taunting, mocking, mimicking, deliberately belittling in front of other members, making offensive comments about appearances, belittling someone’s junior status, making lengthy and humiliating tirades of criticism of abuse in front of colleagues.

How can we encourage Mr Speaker to stop this behaviour?”

Bercow laughs…

Duddridge Writes to Brady Demanding May Goes

Minutes before Theresa May gets on stage to deliver her speech James Duddridge has publicly written an email to Graham Brady, chairman of the 1922 Committee, demanding she goes. He has just told Adam Boulton that the conference has been a “disaster”, and says Theresa May’s refusal to “rip up Chequers” and Boris Johnson’s “inspirational” speech yesterday are the reasons he’s submitted a letter of no confidence in Theresa May.

“We haven’t got someone that can effectively negotiate with the European Union at the moment, the Brexit negotiations have been an absolute disaster… yet we limp on and pretend we’re all behind a leader who is not delivering.”

“We need a strong leader and we haven’t got that at the moment. Boris was inspirational, motivational and rallied the troops, rallied politicians, something you could get behind and that’s what we need, we need a leader not a chief executive, an administrator”

Tough timing for May…

Bercow Insists He’s Staying

At business questions Tory MP James Duddridge asked the government whether there would be time for a debate on the qualities required in the next Speaker. Modest, calm, dignified, cool under pressure, punctual, that kind of thing…

Scandal-hit Bercow suggested he is staying put and couldn’t resist delivering a personal slap-down to Duddridge. He said:

“I very gently say to the Honurable Gentleman in terms which are very straightforward and which I know he will be fully able to understand… the Honourable Gentleman will recall I indicated my willingness to continue in the chair in June of last year…”

Things have somewhat changed since then, Mr Speaker.

Tory MP James Duddridge ‘Does a Sheerman’

A sitting Tory backbencher is working for a lobbying firm. James Duddridge is being paid £3,300 for just eight hours’ work a month in his role as a consultant for Brand Communications, according to reports. Duddridge says his second job is “not a public affairs role” but Brand Communications boasts of its “political communications and government relations” work in Africa. Duddridge is a former Africa Minister…

Lobbying regulator the PRCA prohibits its member firms from employing MPs, but Brand Communications is one of the small number of shops that have not signed up to the PRCA’s charter. PRCA Director General Francis Ingham said:

Brand Communications, which sits outside of the industry’s regulatory regime, is damaging all of our reputations in employing Duddridge. Politicians must now admit that the rules surrounding second jobs need to be reformed. Ethics is a two-way street. It is against our rules, but not against their own, and once again the biggest loser in all of this is the public. How can we expect people to have trust in politics when we let this sort of thing happen?”

The same loophole allowed Labour MP Barry Sheerman to register as a lobbyistGuido has no objection to MPs having a second income, just not from lobbyists trying to influence politics and potentially MPs’ votes…

Rich’s Monday Morning View

Bercow Needs Majority of Non-Payroll Vote

James Duddridge’s motion of no confidence against John Bercow has caused Tory MPs to let their feelings be known – Alec Shelbrooke says his position is “untenable”, Karl McCartney has dubbed him the “Jeremy Kyle of Parliament”. Duddridge obviously faces an impossible task in securing a Commons majority against the Speaker thanks to his friends in Labour and the SNP. That he has purely partisan backing will not strengthen his position. The government’s payroll vote is also likely to be directed to abstain. What matters is how the remaining free Tory MPs – who constitute the floating voters – break…

There are 195 Tory MPs who are not on the payroll vote. If a majority of these – 98 Tory MPs – vote for the Duddridge motion, then Bercow will have symbolically lost the confidence of a huge section of the House so much so that they were willing to risk the wrath of the Speaker. A Speaker faced with such a situation in years past would do the decent thing and resign, in fact the men in grey suits would have been to see him if a motion was even proposed, Speaker Martin resigned in 2009 after just 22 signatures. Don’t expect Bercow to do the honourable thing. If he loses the confidence of the free vote vote and clings on he will inevitably end up facing humiliating daily barrackings at Points of Order. The question for the Speaker is – will the Tory non-payroll vote choose to back him or sack him?

Duddridge Tables No Confidence Motion in Speaker

Vote of No Confidence

This House has no confidence in The Speaker.

Tory MP James Duddridge tells Sky:

“We want a fresh speaker, a Speaker that has the confidence of the full House… I’ve been absolutely amazed at the number of people who’ve encouraged me to table this motion of no confidence… The number of MPs speaking out will increase and it will be known that the Speaker’s position is untenable.”

Another blow to Bercow’s authority, though he likely has the numbers to cling on…

Bercow Plot Underway Tonight

Here we go: Tory MP James Duddridge writes to Theresa May tonight to ask if she will stand in the way of MPs who want to unseat the Speaker:

8th February 2017

Dear Prime Minister,

Could you confirm that if there is a vote of no confidence in The Speaker of The House of Commons, the Government will not intervene and give Ministers a free vote.

James Duddridge MP

Odds against it succeeding, but the move is on…

H/T Paul Waugh

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