The Daily Parker

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The Rt Hon John Bercow MP, Defender of Parliament

The Times provides a bit of colour about the Speaker of the House of Commons, who earlier this month broke precedent to force the Government to accept more control from Parliament:

The outside world rarely takes much notice of the speaker of the House of Commons, a nonpartisan and typically low-profile figure who presides over parliamentary debates. But Britain’s last-minute paralysis over exiting the European Union, or Brexit, has made Mr. Bercow into a kind of celebrity.

With less than 10 weeks left before the country is set to leave the bloc, he has broken precedent by wresting some control over the Brexit decision-making from Prime Minister Theresa May, allowing Parliament to act to stop the country from leaving without a deal.

This has won him the admiration of Europeans — a French radio station named him “European of the Week.” Clips of his signature cry, “Order, Order!,” have gone viral on social media.

“From a political geek’s point of view, it was pretty astonishing,” [said Bobby Friedman, the author of a biography of Mr. Bercow] of Mr. Bercow’s decision. “He said, ‘I’ll do what I like.’ If anyone else was speaker, it would have been incredibly surprising. With him, not particularly.”

Bercow is quite amusing to watch as he castigates members of all parties for, among other things, “chuntering from a sedentary position ineloquently and for no obvious purpose.” Watch PMQs any week; he's as much of a character as either the PM or the Leader of the Opposition.

He has signaled that he will step down sometime this year.

Comments (2) -

  • David Harper

    1/20/2019 4:30:19 PM +00:00 |

    Senior Tories have been hinting that when Bercow steps down as Speaker, he may not be given the peerage that is customary for retiring Speakers.  In response, friends of Bercow are reported in today's edition of the Observer as saying that he may not quit the Speaker's chair this year as he originally planned, but sit tight to the end of the current Parliament in 2022.

  • The Daily Parker

    1/21/2019 2:57:19 PM +00:00 |

    I miss Betty Boothroyd.

Comments are closed