Conservative MPs are reportedly planning to call for a vote of no confidence in House of Commons Speaker John Bercow after he effectively banned U.S. President Donald J. Trump from speaking in Parliament.
ITV Political Editor Robert Peston claims to have obtained a copy of a question Conservative MP James Duddridge was planning to put to the Prime Minister earlier on Wednesday, asking her what ministers would do if there were a confidence vote.
The text reads: “There is a good tradition of the government not interfering in House matters. Will my right honourable friend, therefore, give me the assurance that the government will not interfere and will give minsters a free vote in any vote of no confidence in the Speaker?”
— Chris Ship (@chrisshipitv) February 8, 2017
Mr. Bercow did not call Mr. Duddridge to speak at Prime Minister’s Questions, but had he done so “the ensuing uproar in the Commons would have been deafening”.
Mr. Peston quotes an unnamed senior MP as saying: “Manoeuvres are well advanced to get Bercow out.”
If a no confidence motion were debated, it is likely Mr. Bercow would be forced to resign even before a vote is held, as the mere fact MPs were holding the debate would show he had already lost the confidence of a significant portion of the House.
The Speaker has faced mounting criticism after telling MPs on Monday he would oppose President Trump speaking to Parliament.
Usually, decisions about who should address Parliament are discussed in private by the Speaker, Lord Speaker, and Lord Great Chamberlain before any announcement is made.
The Lord Speaker slapped down Mr. Bercow on Tuesday, saying he had not been consulted, while various MPs called his judgement into question.
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”.
Meanwhile, former Culture Secretary John Whittingdale said the Speaker’s comments were “damaging the national interest”, while Sir Gerald Howarth told the Speaker in the chamber: “I do hope, Mr. Speaker, that you will help us to ensure that we can have full confidence in your impartiality.”