We’re about to find out what Tory MPs really think of John Bercow. Simon Burns, Bercow’s biggest Tory critic–and that’s says something, has resigned his ministerial post to run for deputy speaker. If he wins, the Speaker will be forced to work day in, day out with someone who, as Tim Shipman who broke the story points out, once called him a ‘stupid, sanctimonious dwarf’.
David Cameron’s very warm letter accepting Burns’ resignation suggests that the Prime Minister is rather amused by the prospect. I also suspect that he’s grateful for Burns freeing up a ministerial post ahead of the reshuffle next week.
The vote for deputy speaker is a free vote. But given that Burns is a former whip and has given up his ministerial career to run for the post, I expect that any wavering Tory MPs will be guided his way.