MPs call for John Bercow to be made Lord or Archbishop

Thursday, October 31, 2019

Parliamentarians have called for outgoing Speaker John Bercow to be made an Archbishop or a Lord.

MPs from across the political spectrum made the case for Mr Bercow to be given a new role in public life as he chaired his final parliamentary session today.

Conservative MP Michael Fabricant said Mr Bercow should be given the post of Archbishop of Lichfield in his retirement, to ease the pressure of the “overworked” Archbishop of Canterbury and Archbishop of York.

"Twelve hundred years ago, Archbishop Hygeberht was the Archbishop of Lichfield," he said. "It seems to me, Mr Speaker, that you could have a future role in your retirement as the Archbishop for Lichfield."

And Labour’s Barry Sheerman said he hoped Mr Bercow would do “startling things” with the career in front of him, calling for Mr Bercow to be made a Lord.

He said: “I hope this miserable Prime Minister, who couldn't even pay tribute to the Father of the House yesterday, will put you in the House of Lords, where your office deserves.”

The dig referred to the fact that Boris Johnson did not acknowledge the curent longest serving male MP Ken Clarke as he attended his last PMQs after almost 50 years in the House.

Labour former minister Angela Eagle also backed a Lordship for Mr Bercow, urging Commons Leader Jacob Rees-Mogg to immediately “send [Mr Bercow] where he belongs: To the House of Lords”.

She said: “I think there's one place, Mr Speaker, still far too high-bound by tradition that needs your open and reforming zeal in order that we might deal with it.”

Mr Bercow took on the role of Speaker in 2009, a job which required him to remain completely impartial, despite being the Conservative MP for Buckingham.

A vote on his successor will take place on November 4.

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