Pressure was building on House of Commons Speaker John Bercow Tuesday afternoon as an increasing number of MPs spoke out against his decision to effectively ban U.S. President Donald J. Trump from speaking to Parliament.
MPs have called the Speaker’s impartiality into question over his comments yesterday, accusing him of “grandstanding” and “hypocrisy”.
Responding to growing criticism, Mr Bercow told the House of Commons Tuesday afternoon he had acted “honestly and honourably” to “discharge my responsibilities to the House”.
“The House has always understood that the chair has a role in these matters,” he said.
However, Daniel Kawczynski, the MP for Shrewsbury, told Breitbart London he was “very disappointed and concerned by the Speaker’s comments, which have brought into question his judgement and impartiality”.
He added he was “surprised he has no qualms about hosting the Premier of China but has concerns over inviting the democratically elected leader of our closest ally and NATO partner”.
David TC Davies, MP for Monmouth, also told Breitbart London: “I have great respect for the Speaker, but it would be a great mistake not to invite Donald Trump to speak.
“The BBC and others seem to be trying to compare Trump to the leaders of repressive countries, but America has a great human rights record. I’d much rather be gay, a woman or a Muslim in the United States than in many other nations.
“We should respect our American allies.”
Former Culture Secretary John Whittingdale added that Mr Bercow’s comments were “damaging the national interest”, and accused the Speaker of “playing to the gallery for as much publicity as possible”.
Speaking in the House of Commons, Sir Gerald Howarth told the Speaker his comments had “caused some of us some concerns”.
“The Prime Minister, in the view of many of us, managed to secure a very favourable outcome of what was undoubtedly a very tricky visit [to see Mr Trump]. I do hope, Mr Speaker, that you will help us to ensure that we can have full confidence in your impartiality.”
The interventions came as Mr Bercow’s counterpart in the House of Lords slapped him down in a statement to the Upper Chamber, saying he was “not consulted” over the decision.
He added that while both he and Mr Bercow have the ability to “veto” such a visit, “before we reach this point there should be, at the very least, some effort to reach consensus and a serious discussion on what the decision should be”.
“I hope that we can now return to that previous practice.”