Bercow’s ‘last’ bust-up: House speaker ends his final day in parliament sparring with Tory over disgraced Labour lawmaker (VIDEO)
Bercow announced in September that he would be quitting his role as speaker of the House of Commons on October 31, the day the UK was supposed to have left the EU. However, with the drama of Brexit Day being delayed further, it left Bercow in the position of enjoying most of the limelight in parliament.
For all his love of “order,” it wouldn’t have been right and proper for the speaker to have exited the House of Commons for the last time without a verbal scrap with a lawmaker.
WATCH: Bridgen vs Bercow. 'To the fag end of your tenure in that chair you are defending the indefensible'.As MPs discuss standards investigation into Labour MP Keith Vaz, the two parliamentarians clash one last time. pic.twitter.com/dFaPWYMJE6— Joe Pike (@joepike) October 31, 2019
A row broke out between Bercow and Tory MP Andrew Bridgen during a debate about the case of disgraced Labour MP Keith Vaz. Vaz has been suspended from parliament for six months for "expressing a willingness" to help buy cocaine for male prostitutes.
Bridgen, the MP for North West Leicestershire accused Bercow of mishandling Vaz’s case, claiming he should have acted earlier. “To the fag end of your tenure in that chair you are defending the indefensible,” sniped Bridgen.Also on rt.com Sex, drugs and politics: The story behind the Keith Vaz scandal
Bercow, who had stopped Bridgen a number of times during his speech, angrily hit back at the jibe, warning the MP that he was veering off from the specifics of the debate and to not “mix it with the chair.”
Let me say to the honorable gentleman. He can try to smear me. He will get the square root of nowhere.
Holding the position since 2009, Bercow has been the longest-serving speaker since the Second World War, and has called “order!” over four parliaments and under four prime ministers.Also on rt.com Bercow made ‘my life HELL’: Former British PM David Cameron reveals
During that time, his flowery language and thunderous pronouncements rang out in the house, with his voice becoming arguably the most recognizable in parliament.
During his last few weeks in office, the speaker was accused of bending parliamentary rules, by giving pro-Remain MPs who were opposed to a ‘no-deal’ Brexit the chance to pass legislation blocking such an eventuality. Conservatives were furious, and Business Secretary Angela Leadsom called Bercow’s move a “flagrant abuse” of the parliamentary process.
However, Bercow has always defended his conduct, insisting that he has served to uphold the democratic principles of parliament, claiming that it's “bad form” to blame the referee. In something of a parting shot to Tory Brexiteers, the speaker said in a recent interview with CNN: “I thought the Brexiteers were in favour of taking back control of Parliament, being in the driving seat? Well, they can't have it both ways.”
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