Remain-voting Commons Speaker John Bercow under-fire for ‘waiting an hour before allowing MP to defend Theresa May’s Brexit Plan’
- John Bercow has complete discretion over which MPs to call to question the PM
- The Speaker allowed a string of critics to have the first go at savaging Mrs May
- Yesterday he waited more than an hour before letting a supportive MP speak
John Bercow was under fire last night after allowing a string of Theresa May critics to have the first go at savaging her Brexit deal in the Commons.
The Speaker has total discretion over which MPs to call to question the Prime Minister when she makes a statement to the House.
Yesterday, he waited more than an hour before allowing former education secretary Nicky Morgan to become the first MP to speak in support of the PM’s Brexit deal – giving the impression that no-one backed it.
One senior Tory source described Mr Bercow’s conduct as ‘outrageous’, adding: ‘He seems to be trying to break his own record for how long he can wait before he can call someone supportive.’
Nailing his colours: Anti-Brexit sticker on windscreen of John Bercow’s car
One senior Tory source described Mr Bercow’s conduct as ‘outrageous’, adding: ‘He seems to be trying to break his own record for how long he can wait before he can call someone supportive’
In the first hour of Mrs May’s statement, Mr Bercow called 11 members of the hardline European Research Group (ERG), which has vowed publicly to kill off her Brexit proposals.
Those called to open the questioning included the ERG’s chairman Jacob Rees-Mogg, former chairman Steve Baker and deputy chairman Mark Francois, all of whom have published letters of no confidence in the Prime Minister in the last fortnight.
Mr Bercow, who voted Remain and has a car windscreen sticker that says ‘B******s to Brexit’, also called Eurosceptic former Cabinet members Boris Johnson, David Davis, Owen Paterson, Iain Duncan Smith and John Redwood before considering more supportive former ministers such as Mrs Morgan and Caroline Spelman.
In between he called a number of diehard Tory Remainers who are known to oppose the deal and want a second referendum, including former ministers Justine Greening, Anna Soubry and Jo Johnson.
The only previously neutral Tory called in the first hour was former defence secretary Sir Michael Fallon, who also spoke out against the deal.