Ministers to get free vote on John Bercow

Written by Nicholas Mairs on 13 February 2017 in News

Campaign to oust Bercow was launched after some backbench MPs said Bercow had compromised the role's neutrality

John Bercow - credit: PA

The Government will not attempt to stop ministers voting against speaker John Bercow in the event of a no-confidence vote.

A campaign to oust Bercow was launched after some backbench MPs said Bercow had compromised the role's neutrality.

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That was followed by footage of Bercow revealing to students that he had voted in Remain in the June referendum, and allegedly blasting the Leave campaign for “untruths”.

While no Commons vote on his position is planned, Government sources have confirmed that there would be no attempt to thwart the standard convention of a free vote among MPs on matters related to the House.

Tory MP James Duddridge, who launched the motion of no confidence, said the footage of his comments on the referendum was a “game changer”.

“When you become Speaker you must be impartial; he’s no longer impartial, he’s no longer able to continue to do the role which is why I think the House will vote him down in a vote of no confidence," he said yesterday.

“In reality, he may see the lie of the land and go before he’s pushed.”

John Whittingdale, another opponent of Mr Bercow, said he doesn’t expect him to stay in his post for “much longer”.

The Speaker had told students: “Personally, I voted to Remain. I thought it was better to stay in the European Union than not.”

Bercow’s spokeswoman said: “The record shows that he has rigorously facilitated the raising of concerns of those on both sides of this argument, as he does on every other issue.”


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