MP Tables Motion to Debate No Confidence in Remainer Speaker Bercow

The new Speaker of the House of Commons, John Bercow is pictured in his office at the House of Commons, in Westminster, central London, on June 23, 2009.
STEFAN ROUSSEAU/AFP/Getty

Brexiteer Tory MP Crispin Blunt has tabled an early day motion for debate of taking a formal position of no confidence in Speaker of the House of Commons John Bercow, based on how he has handled Parliamentary procedure in favour of Remainers.

Mr Blunt revealed Tuesday afternoon that he had tabled an early day motion — motions submitted for which there is no fixed day of debate — writing, “There are well over 100 MPs profoundly unhappy with the conduct of the Speaker” and his “handling of the Brexit issue.”

“His decisions have helped contribute to the national paralysis on this great question of our day. His position is overt and wholly partial and the only means for properly saying so under our rules, as the assumption of the Speaker’s impartiality by our customs and practice, is on a substantive motion.”

Mr Blunt made the point that he would not list the motion under any other MPs’ names other than his, as “many others continue to fear the consequences of being against a Speaker, who has such influence over their Parliamentary life, even if they have 100 supporters.”

“This motion will lie open for the rest of this Parliamentary session and if 100 MPs let me know that they are prepared to sign it, I will then add their names to my own,” he added.

Mr Blunt sent out an email last week, according to Westminster blog Guido Fawkes, canvassing for support, saying that amongst support for the motion were members of the front bench.

Speaking to Tom Swarbrick on LBC today, Mr Blunt said, “I think the question of his partiality over Brexit is now over and it needs to be formally called out.”

The MP, who voted for Leave and backed Prime Minister Theresa May’s controversial Withdrawal Agreement but does not rule out a clean, no deal Brexit, added, “There is an open secret here of collusion with Oliver Letwin and Yvette Cooper in trying to find ways of disrupting the Government’s management of Brexit business.”

Making the “central indictment” Mr Bercow’s handling of parliamentary precedent, the Tory MP said, “What is completely certain in my mind is that the referee is on one side of the game.

“That is demonstrated by his conduct — more subtly, in his discussion with those MPs who are trying to make life impossible for the Government to get its Withdrawal Agreement across the line and to obstruct the alternative route for Brexit which would be leaving the European Union with no agreement.”

Mr Bercow had demonstrated in the past his alleged anti-Brexit bias when in March he selected four pro-Remain amendments for vote, and when the fact was observed with “some disappointment” by Brexiteer MP Mark Francois, the Speaker said, “Members do have to take the rough with the smooth.”

While in January, the Speaker had been accused of breaching House of Commons precedent by ignoring the advice of clerks by abandoning Parliamentary procedure and allowing MPs to vote on an amendment intended to stop a no-deal Brexit.

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