Andrea Leadsom: 'Next Speaker must not humiliate MPs'

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Andrea Leadsom has revealed she was "pleased to hear" that John Bercow was stepping down as Speaker of the House of Commons.

The cabinet minister said it was important that Mr Bercow's successor did not "humiliate" MPs, or act as a "cheerleader" for one side.

"I think the impartiality is the key point. It needs to be somebody who will uphold the highest standards of behaviour and not be somebody who is inciting or humiliating MPs on any benches," she told talkRADIO's Julia Hartley-Brewer.

"It needs to be someone who will ensure there is a clear chairing, an umpiring, a refereeing, not a cheerleader for one side or the other side sat in the chair."

The Business Secretary has previously questioned Mr Bercow's impartiality over Brexit, but outgoing Speaker has always denied his personal views have influenced his decisions.

Ms Leadsom continued: "I have always been very clear I have the greatest regard for the role of the Speaker of the Commons - it's a very senior, responsible role and it is vital it's carried out impartially and without bias to any one cause or political party.

"I think it's right that the Speaker should be standing down at this juncture, and I'm pleased to hear it."

Mr Bercow announced his resignation plans on Monday, becoming tearful while delivering his parting speech to the Commons.

He said he is to step down as both Speaker and MP at the next election, or on October 31 - whichever comes first.

Read more

Tom Watson calls for second referendum before general election

Jeremy Corbyn warns Boris Johnson a general election ‘is coming’