Commons Speaker: Parties Offer Little Choice

Commons Speaker John Bercow has told Sky News he believes voters feel let down by mainstream political parties because they have not got what they voted for.

In a stinging verdict on the local election results, which saw poor turnout and a drubbing for the coalition, he suggested people felt disillusioned because the parties are "quite similar" and there "isn't a huge choice".

The speaker, who is expected to remain politically impartial at all times, claimed many people are "suspicious or even despairing" about the political system.

In an interview for the Murnaghan programme, to be aired later, Mr Bercow said: "To some extent, (people) are suspicious or even despairing of formal politics as a means to give expression and effect to what they want.

"I think there is a wider dissatisfaction that people feel partly that the parties are still quite similar and perhaps there isn't a huge choice, and partly they feel, well 'I said what I wanted, and I voted accordingly, but I haven't got what I wanted or what I voted for two years ago'."

Mr Bercow admitted he is not "bosom pals" with David Cameron.

Pictures showed the Prime Minister scowling during Mr Bercow's speech at the Queen's Jubilee address in Parliament's Westminster Hall.

The speaker raised eyebrows by describing the monarch as a "Kaleidoscope Queen" during the historic event.

He said: "I have a good and constructive relationship with him (Mr Cameron). If you're asking are we bosom pals, no we're not, but we don't need to be, nor should we be."

The speaker added: "I saw that he was caught in the camera shot - is that something that I've ever discussed with the Prime Minister? No it isn't... Am I in any way bothered about or prickly over a thing like that? No, not at all.

"I was trying to express what I thought was quite an important concept - namely that there has been dramatic change, in my view change for the better in this country which is vastly more diverse than ever before, and much of that change and increased diversity has taken place during the period that Queen Elizabeth has been our monarch."