PMQs: Boris Johnson and Jeremy Corbyn lead tributes to Speaker

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Boris Johnson and Jeremy Corbyn led tributes to outgoing Commons Speaker John Bercow as he chaired his final Prime Minister's Questions.

Opening the debate, the Prime Minister said that although he disagreed with "some of the legislative innovations" Mr Bercow had backed in the past, he had ultimately been a "great servant" of Parliament and the Commons.

Mr Johnson joked: "You have cared so deeply for the rights of backbenchers that you have done more than anyone since Stephen Hawking to stretch time in this particular session."

And opposition leader Mr Corbyn said "democracy is stronger" following the Speaker's decade-long tenure.

"You have stood up for Parliament when it has to be stood up for," he said.

"You have taken it away from being a gentleman's club to a genuinely democratic institution."

The SNP's Westminster leader, Ian Blackford, said Mr Bercow had championed and defended democracy, and would "always be welcome" in Scotland.

Mr Bercow is to step down as Speaker on October 31, and his successor is to be elected on November 4.

During his tenure, he has faced allegations of bullying and bias; both of which he vehemently denies.

But Labour MP Kate Hoey told talkRADIO his resignation was “one little bit of light on the horizon” in the Brexit saga.

She branded him a "Remain speaker" who had "behaved appallingly".

Mr Bercow's successor will be elected on November 4, and there are nine candidates in the running.

Read more

Who will become the next Commons Speaker?

John Bercow effigy to be burned at Kent bonfire event

talkRADIO: Your election station