More Britons Want to Sack Bercow Than Back Him

This afternoon’s ICM poll is also hugely damning for John Bercow. More Britons think he should resign than think he should stay:

Bercow should stay as speaker because he is doing a good job: 30%

Bercow should resign or be removed as speaker because he’s not impartial: 32%

Don’t know: 38%

Previous Speakers would look at such numbers and fall on their sword…

Labour Whips Move to Save Bercow

This text has gone out to Labour MPs today telling them that “usual rules do not apply” and so Labour frontbenchers are free to sign an EDM in support of the Speaker. Frontbenchers are usually unable to sign EDMs. They are determined to save their man…

Bercow’s Freebies-For-Access

John Bercow is famous for his love of freebies – he has one of the longest Register of Interests of anyone in parliament. Take the Lawn Tennis Association, from whom he has accepted some £3,000 of hospitality over the last two years. In September 2015 they paid for the Speaker’s tickets to the Davis Cup. Last summer they sponsored him to attend both the Aegon International and the Aegon Championships. In the autumn he was at the Davis Cup again, also courtesy of the LTA, with two free tickets worth £1,385. What does the LTA actually get in return for giving the Speaker all these free tickets? A Freedom of Information reveals Bercow has quite literally returned the favour by hosting members of the LTA’s executive team at a reception at Speaker’s House. Throwing open the corridors of power so execs could glad-hand, lobby and drink wine with politicians in the Speaker’s lavish residence, all paid for by the taxpayer. A bang to rights case of freebies-for-access, the sort of petty abuse of position that causes so many to want Bercow gone…

Top Bercow Aide’s Abusive Tweets About Tory MPs

A close aide to John Bercow – who the Speaker once called his “stalwart” – can be revealed as a Labour supporter who has sent a string of abusive anti-Tory tweets. Tom Tweddle has worked as Bercow’s assistant since 2011, before which he was a researcher for former Labour minister Quentin Davies. His Gareth Snell-style Tory-bashing is apparent from a brief glance at his Twitter account:


All these comments were made during Tweddle’s employment with the Speaker, while he was supposedly helping him in his non-partisan role. Unfortunate timing as Bercow faces questions about his impartiality… 

Anti-Bercow Lobbying Effort Latest

Tory MP Karl McCartney has emailed all MPs making the case for them to sign the Duddridge EDM:

From: MCCARTNEY, Karl
Sent: 14 February 2017 15:15
To: MCCARTNEY, Karl
Subject: Motion of No Confidence in Speaker Bercow

Dear Colleague,

I am contacting you as I am aware a number of colleagues do not normally sign EDMs and so are unaware or unsure of the easy way to support the Motion of No Confidence in Speaker Bercow as put down by our colleague James Duddridge MP.

The recent outburst by the Speaker, unilaterally barring the President of the United States – our closest ally – from addressing Members of Parliament, was a breach of Parliamentary protocol that parallels no others that neither I, nor more senior Members can recall. It was also indicative of a growing trend in politics of people in powerful positions showing contempt for democracy and an electorate who have made their views crystal clear.

The Speaker is the Chief Officer of the highest authority in the House of Commons and must be politically neutral and seen to be neutral at all times. He or she is, ultimately, the referee on the pitch of our proceedings, not a fellow player. Whether you agree with Speaker Bercow’s criticisms of President Trump or not, the very fact that he made those statements in the place and at the time that he did, at all, shows that he is not politically impartial and that his position is now untenable as his lack of neutrality on a number of issues has manifested itself wider than just Parliament.

I hope you will join me in supporting the EDM and Motion of No Confidence in Speaker Bercow and please do email or give me a call if you would like to discuss this further.

Kind regards,

Karl

Guido understands it already has considerably more support than the Carswell motion against Michael Martin…

Liz Truss Won’t Back Bercow

Asked by the Sun if the Speaker has her backing, Liz Truss refuses to answer the question. There are claims a dozen Cabinet ministers want Bercow gone…

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

Bercow Forced to Apologise For Not Consulting on Trump Ban

The Lords Speaker reveals he has secured an apology from John Bercow for failing to consult him on his unilateral Trump ban. Lord Fowler says he keeps an “open mind” about whether Trump should be able to address parliament. Embarrassment for Bercow…

Bercow Hosted North Korea and Vietnam For Tea in Parliament

John Bercow had representatives from the authoritarian regimes of North Korea and Vietnam round for tea and charged the bill to the taxpayer, Guido can reveal. On 16 July 2009, the Speaker hosted a reception on the parliamentary estate for the vice chairman of Vietnam’s national assembly, at a cost of £81 to the taxpayer. At the time the Vietnamese press reported:

“Vice Chairman Luu held a separate meeting with the newly appointed Speaker of the U.K. House of Commons John Bercow in which he delivered Chairman Nguyen Phu Trong’s congratulations on Bercow’s election and an invitation for him to visit Vietnam soon.”

Vietnam is a communist one party state. Human Rights Watch says “Vietnam’s human rights record remains dire in all areas”, with no democracy and routine use of torture by the police. Bercow charged the taxpayer to have them round for tea.

On 28 March 2011, the Speaker had representatives from the North Korean regime round for tea in the Speaker’s House. A Freedom of Information response shows Bercow hosted a party of four including the “Speaker of North Korea”. Human Rights Watch says “North Korea remains among the world’s most repressive countries. All basic freedoms have been severely restricted”. Bercow’s team insist they met “to tell him candidly what they thought of the conduct of his regime”. Yet he won’t extend an invite to the leader of the free world…

Bercow Hosted & Welcomed These Human Rights Abusers to Parliament

Yesterday Guido reported how John Bercow ignored human rights abuses in Kuwait when the country’s Emir addressed parliament in 2012. Today we reveal the full litany of Bercow’s effusive praise for human rights abusers.

In September 2012 Bercow welcomed President Susilo Yudhoyono of Indonesia to address parliament. The Speaker said at the time:

“Mr President, it is a huge pleasure as well as a considerable honour for me, on behalf of both Houses of Parliament, to welcome you here today… It is also a huge privilege to introduce you personally. I do not know if there is an equivalent Indonesian expression for the phrase ‘Renaissance Man’ which we use to identify people with many attributes, but if it exists then it surely applies to yourself.”

Human Rights Watch says President Yudhoyono “left behind a toxic legacy of rising religious intolerance and related violence”, condemning “the Yudhoyono government’s sorry record” on human rights. Yudhoyono’s feared police force was “actively complicit in incidents of harassment, intimidation or violence against religious minorities”. His government was complicit in the “violation of the rights and freedoms of the country’s religious minorities”. Bercow said it was a “huge privilege” to introduce Yudhoyono to parliament.

In October 2014 Bercow welcomed Singapore’s President Tony Tan Keng Yam to speak to parliament. Male homosexuality is illegal in Singapore. Human Rights Watch has condemned President Tan’s record on “limiting rights to freedom of expression, assembly, and association using overly broad legal provisions on security, public order, morality, and racial and religious harmony”. Bercow smiled and shook hands with President Tan as he introduced him to speak to parliament.

In October 2015 Bercow told China’s President Xi Jinping it was “my pleasure” to have him to address parliament. China is an authoritarian state, according to Human Rights Watch its government “systematically curtails a wide range of fundamental human rights, including freedom of expression, association, assembly, and religion”. Bercow lavished praise on the human rights abusing leaders of Kuwait, Indonesia, Singapore and China, yet bans Trump to grab headlines…

Bercow Welcomed Emir of Kuwait Despite Travel Ban and Dire Human Rights Record

John Bercow has blocked “racist, sexist” Donald Trump from addressing parliament despite welcoming leaders of countries with dire records on equality and human rights. In November 2012 Bercow allowed the Emir of Kuwait His Highness Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah to address parliament. The Speaker told the Emir:

“Your Highness it is my privilege to welcome you here to our Parliament for this important stage of your state visit. Your presence here today is a welcome reminder of the many intimate ties that exist between our nations and our peoples”

According to Human Rights Watch Kuwait has a poor record on women’s rights:

“Women continue to face discrimination in many aspects of their lives, and large legal gaps remain in protections for women. Kuwait has no laws prohibiting domestic violence, sexual harassment, or marital rape.”

It is also illegal to be gay in Kuwait and according to the International Air Transport Association the country also bans Israeli passport holders from travelling there. Bercow did not oppose the Kuwaiti Emir from speaking in parliament…

Bercow Declares War on Trump

John Bercow tells the Commons he “strongly opposes” inviting President Trump to address parliament during his state visit. Applause for the Speaker from the Nats and praise from Dennis Skinner. Sure the President will react to this provocation in a calm, measured manner…

UPDATE: Nigel Farage responds to Guido: “For Speaker Bercow to uphold our finest parliamentary traditions, he should be neutral.”

Clerks’ Wigs Scrapped to Make Commons “Less Stuffy”

Tory MPs sounded their disapproval as the Speaker announced that Commons clerks will no longer have to wear wigs. Bercow says he wants to free clerks of the requirement to wear the ceremonial syrup to make the chamber seem “less stuffy and forbidding” to the public.[…] Read the rest

+ READ MORE +

Bercow Caught on Hot Mic Calling Fallon “Stupid”

The Speaker thought his mic was off at the end of the Trident urgent question, when he told a clerk:

“To pick a fight with the chairman of the select committee is a rather stupid thing to do.”

The chairman of the select committee is Julian Lewis, Bercow’s best friend.[…] Read the rest

+ READ MORE +

Bryant Running for Speaker

The worst kept secret produces the worst non-denial.[…] Read the rest

+ READ MORE +

Vaz and Bercow Get the Party Started

Surreal moment in the Commons as Vaz congratulates Bercow on his and Sally’s anniversary, before asking if had a “party” last night. Remember, the Speaker and Vaz are close[…] Read the rest

+ READ MORE +

Corbyn and Bercow’s Football Chat Caught on Mic

The Speaker probably sniffing around for another freebie.

H/T @estwebber
[…] Read the rest

+ READ MORE +

Skinner Kicked Out of Commons For Calling Dave “Dodgy”

Not the first time Skinner has used that particular phrase to describe the PM. This time he was named by the Speaker for refusing to withdraw…[…] Read the rest

+ READ MORE +



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