John Bercow’s days as Speaker of the House of Commons are “numbered”, according to a Tory MP who wants Theresa May to allow her ministers to unseat him.
James Duddrige told The Huffington Post UK: “The Speaker has lost the confidence of the House. He overstepped the mark.
“He is not there to put forward his views, when he starts doing that he becomes incapable of representing the full opinions of the House of Commons.”
Duddridge had hoped to ask May during Prime Minister’s Questions today not to bind ministers’ hands in a vote of no confidence in the Speaker.
Bercow is facing the wrath of Tory MPs for his decision to ban Donald Trump speaking in Parliament.
Duddridge said the move was: “Increasingly characteristic from a Speaker who has a modernising agenda which never fitted with the House.
“He manipulated his way into getting elected as Speaker by the Labour Party. I think his times are numbered - I don’t see him staying around until 2018.
“I think he will probably go sooner than that and I think he will be sitting as a Labour peer rather than a cross-bencher in the House of Lords.”
Duddridge added that a “vast” number of MPs - including ministers and select committee chairs - had voiced their concern over Bercow’s future to him but feared going public would be “suicidal” for their careers.
The question Duddridge had hoped to ask to embarrass the Speaker today, as reported by ITV News, was:
There is a good tradition of the government not interfering in House matters. Will my Right Honourable friend therefore give me the assurance that the government will not interfere and will give minsters a free vote in any vote of no confidence in the Speaker?
Duddrige needed to be picked by the Speaker himself to be able to ask the question, but was not called on.
Defending his comments on Trump, Bercow told MPs yesterday: “The House has always understood that the chair has a role in these matters.
“I was honestly and honourably seeking to discharge my responsibilities to the House.”
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn also leant his support to Bercow, saying in a BBC interview on Tuesday: “I think he has spoken absolutely clearly [about] Donald Trump, and his misogyny and his racism and his behaviour over international law, particularly on the convention on refugees.
“I think he is absolutely right and I welcome the statement.”