Boris Johnson compares John Bercow to 'uncontrollable tennis ball machine' in parting shot to Speaker

Boris Johnson poked fun at outgoing Speaker of the House John Bercow during his last Prime Minister’s Questions.

The Tory leader, who has not always seen eye to eye with Mr Bercow, described him as an ‘uncontrollable tennis ball machine’ and also made a quip about him doing ‘more than Stephen Hawking to stretch time’ for sessions in the House of Commons.

The Prime Minister also referenced Mr Bercow’s ‘Tony Montana scowl’ during the sarcastic tribute at the last PMQs before Parliament is dissolved next Tuesday and an election is held on December 12.

The Speaker, who previously announced he would retire on October 31, seemed to take it all in good spirits and could be seen laughing along with the rest of the MPs on Wednesday.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson made a few digs at the departing Speaker of the House John Bercow (Picture: Getty)

Mr Johnson said: “As we come to the end of what must be the longest retirement since Frank Sinatra, Mr Speaker, I’m sure the whole House will want to join me in thanking you and hoping that you enjoy in your retirement the soothing medicament that you have so often prescribed for the rest of us.”

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn was kinder to the Speaker but he also couldn’t resist making a joke about him.

Mr Corbyn added: “I hope you will indulge me for one moment while I say a word about you – I’m sure you will.”


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Bercow has broken tradition on several occasions to give MPs unprecedented power when it comes to Brexit.

He has been such a divisive figure that an effigy of him has been chosen to be set alight on Bonfire Night.

Speaker of the House of Commons John Bercow retires on October 31 (Picture: Getty)

After burning likenesses of figures including Boris Johnson, Donald Trump and Harvey Weinstein in recent years, Edenbridge Bonfire Society in Kent has this year chosen the Buckingham MP due to his ‘controversial behaviour’ over the past 12 months.

The 11-metre effigy of Mr Bercow – holding the heads of Boris Johnson and Jeremy Corbyn – was unveiled on Wednesday morning and will go up in flames at the annual bonfire celebration on Saturday.

The event raises money for local charities and also features an effigy of Guy Fawkes.