Coffee House

Listen: Humiliated Bercow heckled as he pauses Clerk appointment

1 September 2014

Even though he decided to call the delay in the appointment of a new Clerk ‘modest’, John Bercow has just suffered a humiliating climb down in the Commons.

The Speaker was heckled as he tried to justify his decision to appoint Carol Mills. When he said ‘a number of colleagues have since expressed disquiet’, Michael Fabricant shouted ‘HA!’.

He continued, but the Speaker’s authority has been seriously bruised by this episode. He styled himself as the champion of Parliament, empowering backbenchers. But pushing the Commons too far has led to those empowered backbenchers turning on him.

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However, if Bercow thinks that this ‘modest pause’ is enough to calm down the 84 MPs who have pledged their support to the campaign by Jesse Norman and Natascha Engel for proper scrutiny of the appointment, he could find he is much mistaken. The group’s application for a proper debate on the appointment will be heard by the Backbench Business Committee. If there is a debate, then the Speaker could face even more heckling. Or else he’ll send someone else to regulate the debate.

Members of the campaign say that it depends what form the ‘consultation’ that the Speaker has promised takes. If it is a ‘consultation’ that MPs feel does not really consult, then he will find himself in some further difficulty.

And speaking to Coffee House after the debate, Michael Fabricant said: ‘He is damaged goods.’ It will be interesting to see whether a campaign that was about the voice of Parliament morphs into one to damage Bercow. So far the leading lights have been careful to ensure that this is not an anti-Bercow campaign. But there are certainly many MPs who would be happy for such a campaign to exist.

UPDATE Ladbrokes has 3/1 on Bercow being replaced as speaker by the election. Those who think he won’t can get quite a decent return on their investment too: it’s 1/5.

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Show comments
  • premulticulti

    Where was the heckling? “Ha” is that it?

  • Donafugata

    Take a letter, Dr. Freud.

    Psychologically Bercow is an open book, the job of Speaker is fuel for his ego, clearly he is someone with self esteem problems but for good reason.

    Crispin Blunt asked a very witty question of Bercow on Monday, I do hope it has an effect.

  • starfish

    With rape gangs in the north of england, jihadis bound for British shores and Russian tanks invading the ukraine clearly this is the sort of ground breaking strategic issue that should be occupying the bubble and commentariat

  • RavenRandom

    Bercow cares too much about himself to be an effective and impartial speaker. Fire him.

  • crackenthorp

    Tories heckling a Tory, how novel

    • swatnan

      a ‘Ha’ from Blondie is NOT a heckle

    • MirthaTidville

      Bercow isnt a Tory..He ceased to be that a long time ago I`m afraid

      • crackenthorp

        He is the tory MP for Buckingham

        • HookesLaw

          The speaker ceases to be a party member when elected. Or should.

          • crackenthorp

            So can i tell the Labour party not to contest Buckingham in future as no Conservative is standing there. You make as much sense as you do on UK Polling Report

        • chouenlai

          He is Mr Effing Speaker you stupid man. He sits as MP for Buckingham but NOT as a TORY.

  • Tron

    This creep is worse than Gorbals Mick and that is saying something.
    Bring back Betty.

    • Barakzai

      And it was friends of Gorbals Mick who carefully fixed it for Bercow (including the coke-bottled shouldered La Harman and that nice Mr Nick Brown . . . )

    • wobble

      You could dig up George Thomas ,nailing his corpse to the chair , would be an improvement over Bercow as well .

      A far more dignified and comanding presence…even with bits missing !

  • swatnan

    Its the begining of the end for Bercow. The removal vans will be calling soon.

    • IanH

      Do not worry for him, I believe he was the only one of the 3 great state roles that elected not to continue the pension for life that you get from day 0.

    • crackenthorp

      no it is not

  • Aline Dobbie

    Man is an arrogant little gnat….heap humiliation on him…

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