Coffee House

The growing campaign against John Bercow’s choice for Commons clerk

22 August 2014

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.’

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UPDATE, 4.20pm: Jesse Norman tweets that he will table a motion forcing the Speaker to give Parliament a say on the appointment.

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.

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Show comments
  • WFB56

    How could such a minor issue have become such a controversy? If MP’s can’t work this out, how do we think they will fare with the problems in the Middle East?

  • swatnan

    The Aussies are coming! So far we’ve had Lynton Crosby and Natalie Bennett and Kylie Minogue whos been around for a while.

    • cambridgeelephant

      Rolf Harris – around for even longer !!

  • Peter Stroud

    I sincerely hope that Ms Mills will see sense, and withdraw from the appointment process.

    • Vera

      Yes she will surely regret it if she doesn’t. She is being used as a pawn by Bercow.

  • ButcombeMan

    It always surprises me that there is no real cross party move to remove the man himself. The best speakers have not been anything like this controversial.

    Bercow and his foolish and ludicrous wife, seem both to have gone out of their way to bring themselves and the posts they occupy, into disrepute.

  • MikeF

    The surprise would be if The Speaker did anything that was considered, appropriate, respectful of precedent and seemly. He is a joke in bad taste played by the last Labour government – just about as good an argument as you will get, in fact, why that administration should be the last Labour government.

  • Radford_NG

    4 January 1642;Speaker Lenthall to Charles I :”I have neither eyes to see nor tongue to speak in this place but as this House is pleased to direct me”.

    22 August 1642:Charles Stuart (that man of blood) raised the Standard of Rebellion against Parliament and his people at Nottingham Castle.

    • SimonToo

      You missed the last clause : “I have neither eyes to see nor tongue to speak in this place but as this house is pleased to direct me whose servant I am here”

  • foxoles

    The Berc(k) strikes again.

  • edward

    At least those behind this campaign against Bercow, such as Bernard Jenkin still have principles and gumption which is more than can be said for the present tory leadership.

  • The Laughing Cavalier

    He is sporting a windsor knot, a sure sign of a cad.

  • In2minds

    The MP added: ‘No-one likes the idea of Parliament’s view being overlooked.’

    The public don’t like being overlooked by the MPs but it happens all the time!

  • Chi The Cynic

    The problem, of course, is that Bercow thinks he *is* the embodiment of Parliament. What Bercow wills, Parliament wills, as he sees it. Plus, as others have noted, he treats opposition to his actions as a sign that he’s doing the right thing. It’s time for him to go.

    • Wessex Man

      Should never had been appointed in the first place and let’s not forget it was done deliberately by labour to pi** off the Tories. Before that there was mad Muppet Martin.

      They’ve ruined the Lords and along with Camerons Tory labourites will finally killl off Westminster.

    • saffrin

      It was time for him to go even before he was speaker.
      The only reason he was appointed in the first place was because Labour knew the Tories didn’t want him and seeing as Burcot is a Tory MP…

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