The Brexit political wrecking ball has claimed the scalp of another leading politician, himself accused of bullying behaviour towards members of staff and MPs. John Bercow (real family name Berkowitz) was the first Jewish Speaker of the House of Commons and made a name for himself by repeatedly defying parliamentary convention.
Previously, again as a result of Brexit, over twenty Tory MPs lost the party whip (meaning they can’t stand at the next general election under the Conservative banner) after refusing to support Boris Johnson’s ‘No Deal’ negotiating strategy with the EU.
Every day sees MPs from all parties decide to stand down rather than fight the next general election (expected to be held later this year following another Brexit extension) as the two main UK political parties continue to fragment and splinter over the issue.
Originally elected as a Tory MP, Bercow himself started his political career as a teenage anti-immigration Monday Club activist before joining the EU-sceptic Bruges Group once elected as an MP. His steady drift to the liberal left over the years ensured enough support from non-Tory MPs to see himself elected Speaker of the House of Commons in 2009 despite right-wing Tory efforts to block him.
Bercow himself has caused the latest impasse by allowing a non-government bill to go forward which effectively restricts Boris Johnson’s freedom to negotiate with Brussels prior to the latest Brexit day at the end of next month.
In response, Tory party bosses vowed to stand a Conservative candidate against him defying the convention that allows the Speaker to contest their constituency unchallenged by the liberal establishment parties and deny him his safe seat.
Bercow said he would leave on October the 31st (the latest Brexit day after previous extensions earlier this year) unless a snap election was held beore then (which now seems unlikely) but would be back in the chair when MPs return to the House of Commons for the Queen’s Speech on October the 14th following an extended suspension of parliament from today after rowdy scenes at the end of the session last night.