Bercow accused of shameless Brexit bias for blocking major vote on Boris Johnson's EU deal


No 10 accused Mr Bercow of denying MPs the chance to deliver on the will of the 17.4 million people who voted Leave. MPs vented their frustrations to the Speaker’s face in fractious exchanges in the Commons chamber. Senior Conservative Sir Bernard Jenkin said it was “most unusual” for a Speaker to regularly stop a government from allowing its business to be debated. The Brexiteer said the Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee he chairs will hold an inquiry into the powers of the Speaker.

Sir Bernard told the Speaker: “I note the dilemmas you face mean on occasion you will sometimes have to please some and not others, but it is becoming remarkable how often you please one lot and not the other lot.”

The Conservative MP said Mr Bercow had “denied the opportunity” for the Commons to express its view on the new exit deal the Prime Minister struck with Brussels.

Mr Johnson ditched a vote on the withdrawal agreement on Saturday after Remainers hijacked it to force further delays.

But the Speaker refused to allow MPs to decide whether they back the settlement in principle yesterday claiming the substance of the motion was the same.

He said: “My ruling is therefore that the motion will not be debated today as it would be repetitive and disorderly to do so.”

Mr Bercow said the “same question convention” is “a necessary rule to ensure the sensible use of the House’s time and proper respect for the decisions that it takes”.

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Downing Street said the Government was “disappointed” with the Speaker’s ruling not to allow a fresh vote.

The Prime Minister’s official spokesman said they would go ahead with the introduction of the Withdrawal Agreement Bill.

“We are disappointed that the Speaker has yet again denied us the chance to deliver on the will of the British people,” the spokesman said.

Conservative David Morris said the Speaker was a “poor man’s Cromwell” who must quit immediately.

Former deputy speaker Nigel Evans accused Mr Bercow of becoming “incredibly partisan” over the last 12 months and said he had brought the role into “disrepute”.

Brexiteer Tory MP Andrew Bridgen said: “The only thing that Speaker John Bercow is consistent in is his bias”

Tory backbencher David TC Davies said Mr Bercow’s rulings “seem to favour one side of the argument”.

He added: “Can you understand, sir, in the light of your comments, why some people perceive, perhaps incorrectly, that the only consistency one can find in your rulings is that they always seem to favour one side of the argument and never the Government who are trying their best to carry out the mandate given to them by the British people in 2016?”

Brexiteer Sir Bill Cash urged the Speaker to “reconsider” the decision and Tory former minister Crispin Blunt told MPs he had previously “formally recorded” his concerns about Mr Bercow’s impartiality.

Conservative MP Ben Bradley said: “Once again the Speaker and the House look inward to internal process and bureaucracy, whilst people outside of this place just want us to bloody get on with it.”

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Mr Bercow relied on guidelines set out in a book on parliamentary proceedings, commonly known as Erskine May, that is more than 170 years old to torpedo the vote.

It sets out a convention dating back to 1604 that a defeated motion cannot be brought back in the same form during the course of a parliamentary session.

The Speaker used the same assessment earlier this year to blow up Theresa May’s plan to put her deal back to MPs.

But he has previously ignored Parliamentary precedents to allow Remainers to thwart the government’s Brexit plans.

Critics claimed he defied the advice of his clerks in January to allow MPs to force changes on Mrs May and he refused to publish the advice he had been given on how to proceed.

At the time he argued that if Parliament was always bound by precedent “nothing would change and things do change”.

Mr Bercow announced last month that he will stand down on October 31 and later brazenly set out plans to be “creative” with parliamentary procedure in his final days to block a no-deal departure.



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