Conservative MP James Duddridge has tabled a motion of no confidence against House of Commons Speaker John Bercow over his ban on U.S President Donald Trump addressing Parliament.
Mr Duddridge said the Speaker had “overstepped the mark a number of times”, telling Sky News:
“This most recent incident, where he used the Speaker’s chair to pronounce his views on an international situation in some quite detailed and lengthy manner, is wholly inappropriate.
“(It) means he can no longer reasonably chair as Speaker any debate on those subjects.”
“I’ve been absolutely amazed at the number of people who have encouraged me to table this vote of no confidence today,” he added.
“He was not within… his remit in any way shape or form. He was using a minor technicality around visits, specifically to Westminster Hall rather than Parliament as a whole. Clearly, any Member of Parliament can invite anyone into Parliament, including President Trump.”
Mr Duddridge said the motion could force the Speaker to resign within a matter of days if enough MPs put their names to it, with Mr Bercow out of office by the time Parliament returns from its short “half term” recess on Monday 20 February.
Mr Bercow told the House of Commons on Monday he would not invited the U.S. President to address Parliament during his state visit later this year, saying he was opposed to the President’s immigration order.
“Before the imposition of the migrant ban I would myself have been strongly opposed to an address by President Trump in Westminster Hall, after the imposition… I am even more strongly opposed,” the Speaker said.
The intervention was highly unusual for the Speaker, who usually remains publicly neutral on most issues.
It later emerged Mr Bercow had not consulted his opposite number in the House of Lords before making the statement. Usually, both men have to agree on whether to issue an invitation before any announcement is made.
Several Conservative MPs have lined up to criticise the Speaker, accusing him of breaking his neutrality and putting the government in a difficult diplomatic position.
Former Culture Secretary John Whittingdale said Mr Bercow’s comments were “damaging the national interest”, and accused him of “playing to the gallery for as much publicity as possible”.