John Bercow risks fury of Conservative MPs as he reveals plan to stay on as Commons Speaker

Posted On: 
29th May 2019

Commons Speaker John Bercow has risked the wrath of Conservative Eurosceptics as he made it clear he has no plans to quit the job before Brexit is delivered.

The Speaker originally pledged to serve for nine years when he took on the job in 2009.
Credit: 
PA

Mr Bercow - who has frequently clashed with Brexiteers and Tory frontbenchers over the issue -  said it was not "sensible to vacate the chair" with major issues still to be resolved.

The Speaker originally promised to serve for nine years when elected as Speaker in 2009.

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But he has yet to set out his departure plans despite frequent spats with the Government over Brexit and a string of MPs already jostling to replace him.  

Mr Bercow told The Guardian during a trip to the United States: "I’ve never said anything about going in July of this year.

"Secondly, I do feel that now is a time in which momentous events are taking place and there are great issues to be resolved and in those circumstances, it doesn’t seem to me sensible to vacate the chair."

And he added: "If I had any intention to announce on that matter … I would do so to parliament first."

The comments are sure to infuriate Conservative MPs who had hoped that Mr Bercow might step down over the summer and make it easier for them to push for a no-deal exit.

The Speaker - in the US to deliver a speech to the Brookings Institution think tank - stunned Westminster in March when he cited rules dating back to 1604 and blocked Theresa May from holding a third identical vote on her Brexit deal.

Mr Bercow's latest comments on his exit plans came as he warned Tory leadership hopefuls that Parliament could move to block a no-deal Brexit if any new Prime Minister tries to push Britain to quit the EU without an agreement.

Rival candidates Boris Johnson, Dominic Raab, Esther McVey and Andrea Leadsom have all made clear they would be willing to walk away from the bloc without a deal in October.

But Mr Bercow said: "The idea that Parliament is going to be evacuated from the centre stage of debate on Brexit is simply unimaginable...

"The idea the House won't have its say is for the birds."