Jacob Rees-Mogg launches blistering attack on John Bercow saying the reputation of the Commons is at its ‘lowest point in modern history’ as the Speaker helps MPs defy Boris Johnson over Brexit
- He tore into Mr Bercow’s handling of Brexit in a Manchester conference speech
- Bercow has attracted criticism over a series of pro-Parliament decisions
- Mr Rees-Mogg said: ‘In my view, he has now flown too close to the sun’
John Bercow has ‘damaged the standing’ of the House of Commons in the eyes of the public to ‘the lowest point in modern history’, Jacob Rees-Mogg said today in a visceral attack on the Speaker.
The new Commons Leader used a speech at the Conservative Party conference in Manchester to tear into Mr Bercow’s handling of Brexit.
The Speaker has attracted criticism and support over a series of pro-Parliament decisions that have infuriated the governments of Boris Johnson and Theresa May.
Mr Rees-Mogg was greeted by cheers and a standing ovation as he walked on stage, but the crowd started murmuring in discontent as he spoke about Mr Bercow.
Describing the Speaker, the hardcore Brexiteer told the audience: ‘As a parliamentarian, I have been in many ways and remain a great admirer of the Speaker.
‘He has helped MPs hold the Government to account and to seek redress of grievance.
‘But in my view, he has now flown too close to the sun and I hope that as he comes to his retirement he will not allow the good he has done in his earlier years to be forgotten.
Describing the Speaker, the hardcore Brexiteer told the audience: ‘in my view, he has now flown too close to the sun and I hope that as he comes to his retirement he will not allow the good he has done in his earlier years to be forgotten’
The Speaker (right) has attracted criticism and support over a series of pro-Parliament decision that have infuriated the governments of Boris Johnson and Theresa May
‘But his recent mistakes have to my deepest regret as Leader of the House of Commons damaged the standing of the House in the eyes of the British public to the lowest point in modern history.’
Mr Bercow has been criticised by Brexiteers who have accused him of siding with Remainers and other MPs trying to block a No Deal Brexit.
He has announced that he intents to quit Parliament on October 31 – Brexit day.
Earlier, during a panel discussion on Brexit, Mr Rees-Mogg dismissed the idea of a government of national unity as being a ‘Remainer coup’.
He said: ‘It is not unity at all, it is a Remainer coup, isn’t it?
‘It’s to try and frustrate and stop what 17.4 million people voted for.
‘And the comeuppance they will get if they defy the electorate will come in the ballot box when we come to a general election.
‘So fear nothing that they do, fear nothing of their schemes and strategies, because ultimately we will have a general election and parties that deny democracy get into great trouble when people have the chance to vote.’
Mr Rees-Mogg (pictured today in Manchester) also dismissed the idea of a government of national unity as being a ‘Remainer coup’
He also took a swipe at the EU, suggesting more nations will follow the UK’s example and quit the bloc to go it alone during a panel discussion with Michael Gove (right) and Steve Barclay (left)
He also took a swipe at the EU, suggesting more nations will follow the UK’s example and quit the bloc to go it alone.
Asked if he believes any more countries will vote to leave the EU, Jacob Rees-Mogg replies: ‘Well, they would if they had any sense, wouldn’t they?’
‘I think the problems with the euro are so deep-seated that the current Euro project, European Union project, can’t last long into the future. But things often last longer than one anticipates.’
But fellow panellist Michael Gove disagreed, saying: ‘I don’t think so … I think there are particular reasons why Britain was right to leave the European Union at this time, and I respect the right of other nations to forge their own future.
‘So, my own hunch is Britain will leave, other countries will stay, but 10, 15, 20 years on, I think we may see a very different European Union from the one we have now.’