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…
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…
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?
Creeping into the Commons just behind Nick Clegg to be sworn in as the MP for Doncaster last week, old habits died hard for Ed Miliband. Going in to shake John Bercow’s hand, Awkward Ed managed to knock over the Speaker’s glass of water right in front of the government benches. There is some confusion as to where exactly the spilled drink ended up, with one eye witness claiming it landed all over the former Labour leader’s crotch. The Speaker’s Office have declined to comment. You’ll miss him now he’s gone…
New Tory Party Deputy Chairman Rob Halfon has told The Sun he wants to change the Tory party logo from an tree to a ladder:
“We are the party of the ladder, it was Churchill who first said that. The ladder symbolises everything we’re about. If you’re in poverty we’ll get you into work, if you’re in work we’ll cut your taxes. If you want to own your home, we’ll help you do that too. It’s not just leaving people to climb up it themselves, we hold that ladder for them.”
Re-elected Speaker John Bercow will be pleased, he chose the symbol for his coat of arms:
Though crueller Tories at the time said it represented his social climbing…
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…
33 government votes handed the day to Labour. 23 Tories:
Sir Richard Shepherd
And 10 Liberals:
Enough to vote down Coalition II…
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?”
His name? John Bercow…
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.
After a point of order from Tory MP Heather Wheeler, Bercow has apologised for his sexist “washing machine” jibe yesterday about Esther McVey:
“If I caused offence by what I said, I very happy apologise to that Member… It was an off the cuff remark, and may well have been a foolish one, and I apologise for it.”
Video to follow…
John Bercow is facing accusations of sexism after comparing Esther McVey to a domestic appliance. The Standard reports:
He intervened when the former GMTV presenter and Wirral West MP was giving her 14th response during a work and pensions session to a question on mental health. But to the surprise of MPs, Mr Bercow then interjected: “I am reminded of the feeling when one thinks the washing machine will stop — but it does not!”
It led Ealing North Labour MP Stephen Pound to say: “A washing machine metaphor for a woman minister is seldom a good idea. Let’s see how he spins his way out of this one!”
While Angie Bray, Conservative MP for Ealing Central and Acton, also voiced consternation about the Speaker’s comment. “That’s unnecessarily rude. I’m not sure it’s for him to criticise the style in which she chooses to answer her questions,” she said.
Last year Bercow criticised other MPs for being “sexist, snobbish, yobbish” at PMQs. Once again the Speaker falls short of the standards he sets for others…
Warning bells would have gone off early in the Speaker’s head when he heard Michael Fabricant use the date of his accession to his Speaker’s throne. The bells would have become clamorous at the first “but”, and turned into sirens at the words “no longer than nine years”.
“Point of Order, Mr Speaker. You may recall back on 22 June 2009 you were speaking before Parliament and you were talking about Speaker Onslow who was in office for more than 30 years but you said that if you were elected to Parliament, you have given your commitment, Mr Speaker, to serve no longer than nine years in total. And I just wondered – ”
“As has just been pointed out to me by the Acting Clerk whom I know the honourable gentleman rightly respects, this is not a point of order. I’ve nothing to add and we’ll leave it there . . . .”
Not a point of order, so sit down?
Members get up on points of order to have a chat with the Speaker, to wish him happy birthday, to praise him for his wise and intelligent chairing. He can listen to that indefinitely. Here comes a chance to confirm on the record that he will serve for no longer than nine years – as promised – and he cuts the questioner off.
This is starting to firm up whispers Guido hears that Bercow has no plans to stand down after nine years, and that his intention is to serve the whole of the next Parliament.
Fabricant tweeted: “I thought it was rather cowardly the way the Speaker blamed the Acting Clerk for cutting me off.”
Did the Clerk spontaneously advise the Speaker this wasn’t a point of order?
Or was he prompted to do so by the Speaker?
Or did he in fact offer the advice at all?
Guido has a call in to Acting Clerk David Natzler to seek the answer to these interesting questions…
From Her Majesty’s Super Dooper Loyal Torygraph this morning:
SIR – The Speaker of the House of Commons wants to modernise voting in elections through the introduction of online voting in 2020.With his support, the election of all the deputy speakers as well as most chairs and membership of select committees is now done by secret ballot. However, despite efforts to introduce a secret ballot for the re-election of the Commons Speaker, he has rejected and blocked this. This suggests that his modernising zeal does not extend to matters that might affect his self-interest.
Simon Burns MP (Con)
He’s not Happy…