Leaving the Conservatives for the Liberal Democrats, or the Liberal Democrats for the Labor Party, has already been seen in the very bipartisan landscape of British politics. But moving directly from the Conservative Party to the Labor Party is much more exotic. Yet this is the transfer that has just dared John Bercow, the former speaker of the House of Commons, who remained in this post until the end of 2019. Having become the pet peeve of Brexiters, this loud mouth, tireless defender of prerogatives of Westminster, revealed his conversion in a scouring interview given to The Observer and published Saturday June 19.
The party of the Tories has become “Reactionary, populist, nationalist and even sometimes xenophobic” castigates this 58-year-old man, who started his political career in the 1980s (very to the right of the Conservative Party). He was elected speaker in 2009, but no longer has an elective mandate since he left this prestigious position. On the other hand, Mr. Bercow said to himself “Motivated by support [du parti travailliste] for equality, social justice and internationalism (…) I came to the conclusion that this government [Johnson] must be replaced. And Labor is the only one that can achieve this goal. There is no other credible option ”.
Stubborn, excellent orator with a stentorian voice – his “Ordeeeer! “ (“Oooordre!”) And his colorful ties have passed on to posterity – Mr. Bercow alienated the tenants of 10 Downing Street (first Theresa May then Boris Johnson) between the end of 2018 and the end of 2019, when he has, on several occasions, refused to give the green light to votes on pro-Brexit texts or amendments, making it even more difficult for Westminster to adopt a divorce agreement between London and Brussels.
The conservative camp will certainly not regret it. Andrew Bridgen, Tory MP for North West Leicestershire constituency even suggests that his transfer is motivated by career considerations. “John Bercow has announced his defection to go to Labor. Most of us thought he had joined him years ago. In this way, he will be able to be appointed a peer in the House of Lords, without the government being able to oppose it ”, suggested on Twitter Mr Bridgen on Saturday. During 2020, Mr. Bercow was not indeed on the list of people proposed by Downing Street to be appointed peers for life – with comfortable emoluments -, contrary to the practice for former speakers.
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