Conservatives to stand election candidate against Commons speaker

Break with convention comes as Leadsom accuses Bercow of ‘flagrant abuse’ of power

Speaker of the House of Commons John Bercow reminds Boris Johnson of the rules relating to the naming of people during his first prime minister’s questions session. Video grab: Parliamentary Recording Unit/AFP/Getty Images

Speaker of the House of Commons John Bercow reminds Boris Johnson of the rules relating to the naming of people during his first prime minister’s questions session. Video grab: Parliamentary Recording Unit/AFP/Getty Images

 

Britain’s Conservative Party plans to stand a candidate against parliamentary speaker John Bercow at the next national election, business minister Andrea Leadsom said.

Breaking with convention, Ms Leadsom said it was right for the Conservatives to stand a candidate against Mr Bercow, accusing him of “flagrant abuse” of his power. The Commons speaker would normally be expected to run unopposed.

With Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Brexit strategy having plunged parliament into chaos, the next national election could take place soon.

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Writing in the Mail on Sunday newspaper, Ms Leadsom said Mr Bercow had “failed us” when he allowed legislators to seize control of parliament on Tuesday, putting in place a plan to force Mr Johnson to seek a Brexit delay if parliament has not approved either a deal or consented to leaving without one by October 19th.

Mr Johnson has said he would rather be “dead in a ditch” than seek that extension – which businesses say is needed to prevent economic damage from a no-deal Brexit – and has promised to lead Britain out of the EU by October 31st with or without a deal.

“The Speaker is the senior officer of the House of Commons, and its highest authority. A politically impartial, independent umpire of proceedings, the Speaker is in place to protect the constitution and oversee the behaviour of the House,” Ms Leadsom wrote.

“What we saw on Tuesday was a flagrant abuse of this process.” – Reuters

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