The campaign against Speaker Bercow’s plan to appoint Carol Mills as Clerk of the House is growing on the Tory backbenches.
Coffee House has today been contacted by a series of Conservative MPs keen to emphasise the rise in opposition among their number. They claim 10 Tories have joined the campaign this morning and that more are ‘very concerned’ and considering joining what appears to be a loosely co-ordinated backbench push against the appointment taking place without a pre-selection hearing. One opponent says the swell in numbers has taken place because the revolt is now clearly cross-party rather than simply Conservative enemies of Bercow. The MP added: ‘No-one likes the idea of Parliament’s view being overlooked.’
UPDATE, 4.20pm: Jesse Norman tweets that he will table a motion forcing the Speaker to give Parliament a say on the appointment.
To be clear: if the champion of Parliament does not give Parliament a say on Ms Mills' appointment, I will table a motion on this on Sept 1.
— Jesse Norman (@Jesse_Norman) August 22, 2014
I understand that the loosely co-ordinated backbench push that I reported on earlier has now solidified into a stronger campaign. And if Norman is at the forefront of this, then Bercow should be worried: this is the man who helped bring down reform of the House of Lords.