Tory MP: No cabinet ministers will support John Bercow in vote of no confidence
James Duddridge conceded his campaign against Bercow was "a distraction" from the other challenges, but insisted that it was time for the Speaker to stand down
John Bercow - photo credit: PA
A Tory MP leading efforts to topple John Bercow has claimed that no Cabinet ministers will back the Speaker in a House of Common’s vote of no confidence.
James Duddridge also conceded that his campaign against Bercow was "a distraction" from the other challenges facing the country, but insisted that it was time for the Speaker to stand down.
The Rochford and Southend East MP tabled a motion of no confidence last week following Bercow's outspoken criticism of Donald Trump.
Anger at the Speaker grew at the weekend after video footage emerged of him admitting to having voted Remain in the EU referendum.
MPs are expected to deal with the no confidence motion next week when they return to Westminster after the half-term recess.
But SNP MP Alex Salmond said Bercow had shown “backbone” in publicly stating his opposition to the idea of giving President Donald Trump the opportunity to address the House of Commons.
Salmond said: “As Speaker, he is quite within his rights of course - this was to be an address from Westminster Hall and that is within the province of the Speaker. Speaker Bercow has made his declaration and I am right behind him. Four more years for Speaker Bercow.”
Some prominent Conservatives have said they will not support Duddridge's call, but appearing on Radio 5Live today, he insisted he had powerful backing from other top Tories.
He said: "I don't know any Cabinet ministers that aren't supporting me. I think some people may abstain. I would expect the Prime Minister to abstain. I had expected David Lidington to abstain given that he's a parliamentary neighbour and kind of chief interlocutor with John Bercow as Leader of the Commons. But he was quite robust at the weekend about not offering John Bercow his support.
"I don't think there will be a single member of the Cabinet that will support John Bercow."
Mr Bercow became Speaker in 2009, and said at the time that he wanted to serve nine years in the post.
But Holyrood’s sister site PoliticsHome revealed last week that friends of the Speaker believe he now wants to stay in the post until the next election in 2020.
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