Chaos in parliament as MPs stage protest over suspension
Chaos in parliament as MPs stage protest over suspension
Tearful House of Commons Speaker John Bercow to stand down amid Brexit chaos
11 September, 2019, 09:25
JOHN BERCOW, the Speaker for the British House of Commons has announced today that he is to stand down after 22 years as a Member of Parliament. If the House votes tonight for an early general election, my tenure as Speaker and MP will end when this Parliament ends.
He will step down on October 31, the day the United Kingdom is scheduled to leave the EU.
Holding the position since 2009, Bercow is the longest-serving speaker since the Second World War, and has called "order!" over four parliaments and under four prime ministers.
However, lawmakers opposed to a No-Deal Brexit voted a week ago to seize control of the House agenda, which is usually set by the government, then passed new legislation blocking such an exit.
Though the speaker usually runs unopposed in an election, Leadsom said in the Mail on Sunday that Bercow had "failed" in his role as "a politically impartial, independent umpire of proceedings".
Opposition MPs gave Mr Bercow - who will walk away with a gold-plated £1million non-contributory pension after ten years in the chair - a standing ovation.
Bercow, known for his thundering cries of "Order!".
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Al Jazeera's Laurence Lee, reporting from Parliament, said Bercow had cut to the heart of the Brexit issue.
In the speech announcing his plan to resign, Bercow fixed his gaze on the benches where ministers sit and delivered a direct warning to the government: "We degrade this parliament at our peril".
'With bullying claims, his Brexit bias and a willingness to ride roughshod over established procedures, this Speaker has undermined public faith in Parliament'.
"If the House does not so vote, I have concluded that the least disruptive and most democratic course of action would be for me to stand down at the close of business on Thursday, October 31".
In response, the speaker said: "I don't care if you don't like it". Our democracy is the stronger for your being the speaker.
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