Monday, May 17, 2010

EXCLUSIVE - Ming: Vote Out Bercow & Let Me Be Speaker!

I can exclusively reveal that former Liberal Democrat leader Sir Menzies Campbell is urging MPs to oust John Bercow as Speaker of the House of Commons and elect him in his place. Tomorrow afternoon MPs meet to either confirm Bercow in his place or oust him. The Speaker has launched a PR campaign tonight to rally support but it appears to be hitting the buffers with Ming's astonishing intervention.

Ming has let it be known that he is willing to be included as a possible alternative to Bercow in an email due to be sent out to all MPs tomorrow morning by Labour MP Kate Hoey and Conservative MP Nadine Dorries. They will tell MPs that Sir Alan Haselhurst, Margaret Beckett and Edward Leigh are ready to stand for the office of Speaker and they will urge their colleagues across the House to oust Speaker Bercow. But the addition of Ming's name on the email will send shockwaves through the House of Commons tonight.

The key to the vote will be the 232 newbie MPs. How will they vote? Conservative whips are unlikely to rally to Speaker Bercow's defence. After all, at their final dinner of the last parliament they voted Bercow 'C*** of the Year'. David Cameron is thought to have lost faith in him too, despite endorsing his reelection campaign in Buckingham. What is less certain is the stance of Labour MPs. The bulk of them may well support the man they elected only a few months ago, but Ming Campbell's intervention may give them pause for thought.

My own view is that despite this shock news tonight, Bercow will squeak home, but with his authority tarnished.

If he does indeed win, then the whole House should unite behind him and the office of Speaker and put the difficulties of the last few months behind it. And Mr Speaker Bercow should try to understand the reasons why so many Conservative MPs have turned against him. Whatever the result tomorrow, he needs to extend the hand of conciliation.

Tomorrow looks as if it might be more interesting than we all first thought.

UPDATE: Readers should be aware that the vote on whether the Speaker should remain in office is not a secret ballot and MPs will proceed through the voting lobbies as in normal votes. For this reason I expect John Bercow still to be Speaker by the end of tomorrow. New MPs will not be keen to make enemies.

UPDATE 9.15am: Kate Hoey has decided against sending a letter to Labour MPs in favour of addressing a meeting of the Parliamentary Labour Party at 1pm.

27 comments:

Archbishop Cranmer said...

Delightful news.

His Grace feels prophetically encouraged.

HampsteadOwl said...

Haven't the Tories already handed enough power over to the Liberal Democrats without manoeuvring to put Ming Campbell in the Speaker's chair?

Is there an official medical term for this reverse kleptomania - the compulsive desire to give things away?

Stephen said...

It sounds like Ming's last grasp for a spotlight- it's his Esther Rantzen moment.

Unfortunately Ming is as tarnished as anyone by the expenses he enjoyed and the complacency about the culture there.

I'd see him as Mick Martin 2 so no thank you.

Incidentally, am I alone in thinking that if Ming had copied Mitterand and fixed his minging teeth he might have had a lot more credibility with the public to stay as leader?

Chris said...

But do you really think that a Speaker should have such a publicly partisan wife? To my mind Bercow is a weak Speaker and a product of what was the most disgraceful Parliament for many years.He should be swept away with the rest of the tainted crew.

Tom said...

This is a nonsense Westminster Village obsession and paints the entire Parliament in a bad light. Whatever you do, just do it, and live with the consequences, but please, no more of this pathetic bitching!

quietzapple said...

Did you ask Campbell?

Or . . .

Eric said...

I think either Bercow being deposed, or a close result where he makes it though in the end would be a good thing. I actually like some of the decisions Bercow has made, but his treatment of some Conservative MP's, and allowing Labour MP's to make comments that he would otherwise rule out of order, have been unacceptable.

A close result will give the message "this is your final warning, start showing the same respect and cordiality to all your colleagues, not just Labour, or we will remove you".

Guthrum said...

Why is this important ?? Who gets to wear the fancy dress

STFC Executive said...

Shocking. It's just like Hitler and Hindenburg all over again.

IvorBiggun said...

Ming Campbell, much that he irritates me, would be much preferable to the considerably greater irritant that is John Bercow.

Please do it MPs - replace Bercow with someone with the stature (in every sense) to be the Speaker of our great Parliament - Bercow is an upstart lickspittle hypocrite traitor.

And don't get me started on Sally the Alley...

Ye gads, now that that b****** Brown has been flung out, the presence of Bercow as Speaker is about all there is in national life that makes me feel as if I'm going to burst a blood vessel!

Chris said...

Hi Iain
Had a little birdie mention this to me yesterday. The current speaker certainly does not enjoy the overall support of the House, but would they dare put a Liberal in the position?

I, obviously, would love to see this, however, I cannot really see it happening. I think that the current speaker will be retained, however he will be given a run for his money and told to behave!

Lets wait and see!

Chris (your friendly LibDem)

David Boothroyd said...

If Menzies Campbell has authorized his appearance in this email, then it's a horrific political misjudgment.

Derek said...

I think it's likely that Liebore as a hole (deliberate) will support Bercow - it's a way of exercising political muscle, preparing propaganda, tweaking the nose of the coalition, and uniting Liebore (if only for Beeb PR).

I would have preferred Edward Leigh but I feel sure the Beeb would be keen to make an issue out of a Tory replacing a 'tory', so maybe it's a good time for Tories to support a LibDem Speaker in order to, in turn, have a proper Tory Speaker after Ming.

I think it would be wise/pragmatic for the coalition to show 'no mercy' to Liebore or the Beeb right from the start - it's going to get bloody.

(bloody as in:
'there's no money left, ha, ha'-
'ok, no quarter given and we'll nail your crimes to your carcasses, ho bloody ho')

Nick said...

This kind of debate might be interesting to anoraks, but it's not exactly like the great unwashed are about riot if Bercow stays. No-one cares.

Anyway, it's worth keeping him in just to get one over on the odious Nadine Dorries

allnottinghambasearebelongtous said...

My suspicion is that you've got this info from the member for Mid Narnia and as such is somewhat less than reliable.

I'm sure she genuinely believes that it's a done deal but she also suffers from a delusion that she's important.

Adrian said...

"If he does indeed win, then the whole House should unite behind him"

Nice to see you wanting to have it both ways, Iain...

Why should the House unite behind him? The guy's a buffoon who's totally failed to improve its image.

Paddy Briggs said...

So the good Burghers of Buckingham vote for Bercow as Speaker - and Ming tells them to bugger off!

OldSlaughter said...

The election of Bercow was another in a list of Labour's case against decency, fair play and the spirit of the rules.

Speaker Martin followed by Speaker Bercow. More evidence of required of Labour's attitude to our Parliament.

Lauchlan McLean said...

I agree with Nick,I have nothing but contempt for Berk Bercow but if that harridan dorries is plotting against him then reluctantly I hope he is re-installed in the Speakers Chair. He must be aware of the ill feeling expressed against him and that may make him behave in a much better manner.

Nigel said...

There are good arguments for the replacement of Speaker Bercow.

The involvement of Nadine Dorries rather militates against them.

Just Wonderful said...

If the only thing stopping people voting out Bercow is the fear of making enemies then all I can say is grow a pair!

Time and again we see the fawning and brown nosing to acquire some measure of power within politics.

Utter cowardice. If you don't have the courage to say and do what you think is right then get the hell out.

Silent Hunter said...

I'm surprised that no one has mentioned his flipping of homes and 'feathering' his grace & favour appartments at taxpayers expense.

Wasn't he supposed to have been there to 'clean up' parliament?

Unsworth said...

"For this reason I expect John Bercow still to be Speaker by the end of tomorrow. New MPs will not be keen to make enemies."

So, Bercow is a man to bear grudges, then? Yes, I think he is.

Unsworth said...

@ Paddy Briggs

"So the good Burghers of Buckingham vote for Bercow as Speaker"

Complete and unremitting bollocks. Since when did the Buckingham electorate decide who shall be the Speaker? Anything on the ballot paper to show this to be so? Why do these constituents have the right to elect the Speaker?

They voted for Bercow as MP. Whether his fellow MPs subsequently elect him to the position of Speaker is another matter entirely.

Do you actually ever think before launching into print?

Paddy Briggs said...

Unsworth

I'll eschew the personal attacks - as ever. Maybe one day you'll learn to do the same...

The only significant electorate that has voted for Mr Bercow was in Buckingham - real people in a real election. They could have voted for UKIP Biggles - or for some pseudo carrier of the Tory flame. But they didn't. They voted for the Speaker. End of story...

Unsworth said...

@ Paddy Briggs

Even more garbage. You seem to believe that the votes cast for Bercow by the Buckingham electorate were votes to place him in the position of Speaker. Yet at the same time he was no longer Speaker (Parliament having dissolved) - and there was no guarantee that he would be re-elected by MPs to that position anyway.

Your position is logically untenable yet, as always, you swear that the moon is blue cheese.

Personal attacks? So what? Answer the actual debate, rather than attempt to put forward preposterous argument. I'd have more (nay, some) respect for you if you did. Just explain how the people of Buckingham have the right to elect the Speaker of the House of Commons and explain what would have happened had he been defeated by Farage. Would Farage be the new Speaker?

Let me remind you of your exact words: "So the good Burghers of Buckingham vote for Bercow as Speaker"

HarveyR said...

"Bigger Scoops than Ben and Jerry's", eh?

As scoops go, this one was more like Mr Whippy.