Ber­cow shames Par­lia­ment. He MUST go

Daily Mail - - News -

OVER the next few weeks, Par­lia­ment faces a cri­sis as Brexit reaches its cli­max. At such a mo­ment, the Com­mons needs an im­par­tial Speaker who com­mands the re­spect of MPs and also the coun­try at large.

In­stead it has got John Ber­cow. Ber­cow’s role ought to be to stand above pol­i­tics and en­sure fair­ness for all sides. Sadly, he makes no se­cret of his sym­pa­thies for Re­main.

This is a dis­as­ter. Over the next few weeks, Brex­i­teers fear they may find them­selves in the same sit­u­a­tion as a foot­ball team where the ref­eree is bi­ased to­wards the other side.

Not merely that — he also stands ac­cused of pro­tect­ing MPs who face al­le­ga­tions they have abused their po­si­tions.

Dis­grace­fully, he’s used the pow­ers of the Speaker’s Chair to block a BBC free­dom of in­for­ma­tion re­quest con­cern­ing al­leged breaches of the rules by Labour MP Keith Vaz. Per­haps pro­tect­ing MPs from le­git­i­mate in­ves­ti­ga­tion earns him pop­u­lar­ity among mem­bers of the House. But it’s a dis­as­ter for Par­lia­ment.

It’s al­most ten years since Speaker Mar­tin was obliged to re­sign in the wake of the Com­mons ex­penses scan­dal.

His suc­ces­sor, John Ber­cow, was granted a heaven-sent op­por­tu­nity to earn him­self his place in his­tory by clean­ing up the Com­mons.

Ber­cow’s reign as speaker shames Par­lia­ment: he should go now.

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