Sunday, 22 September, 2019

John Bercow to stand down as Commons Speaker

Sir Lindsay Hoyle Sir Lindsay Hoyle
Patty Aguilar | 11 September, 2019, 00:48

Mr Gove joked that he hoped Mr Bercow would not take it personally when he votes for an early general election, adding: "It is the case that however controversial the role of the backstop may be in other areas, your role as the backbenchers' backstop has certainly been one that's been appreciated by individuals across this House".

Mr Bercow announced on Monday he would stand down on October 31, the day the United Kingdom leaves the EU.

"If the house votes tonight for an early general election, my tenure as speaker and MP will end when this parliament ends", Bercow told the chamber.

Even the foreign press picked up on Bercow's iconic status, with Dutch newspaper De Volkskrant publishing a profile quipping that the speaker offered "the only order" in British politics in the midst of a very disorderly Brexit.

But Brexiteer Mr Bridgen criticised the demonstration as "shenanigans and showmanship" and slammed Speaker John Bercow, who became tearful while announcing his resignation plans to MPs yesterday.

Bercow has enhanced Britain's reputation overseas as a thriving democracy and others look on wishing they had a Speaker like him to invigorate their own parliaments.

Opposition MPs lined up to shake Bercow's hand when parliament eventually wrapped at 2am.

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Though Bercow said that he had planned on stepping down for family reasons, his departure comes amid a wave of deselections and defections within the Conservative Party.

"Parliament will be prorogued at close of business today", a spokesman for Prime minister Boris Johnson said, using the parliamentary term for the suspension.

In the three elections held during Mr Bercow's speakership - 2010, 2015, and 2017 - only candidates from minor political parties have stood against him.

"Throughout my time as speaker, I have sought to increase the relative authority of this legislature - for which I will make absolutely no apology to anyone, anywhere at any time", he said in the House.

He says he will quit both as Speaker and as a Member of Parliament.

MPs also voted in favour a motion aimed at forcing the government to release documents related to its Operation Yellowhammer preparations for a no-deal Brexit. With parliament suspended later on Monday, MPs now have only one week in session at the end of October before Britain is set to leave the European Union on October 31.

Whatever happens, Bercow's last week likely will not be an orderly one.

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