Conservatives to stand against John Bercow at next election in bid to oust speaker

Mr Bercow was criticised for allowing MPs to take over the Commons this week. (PA)

The Conservative Party is reportedly planning to contest John Bercow’s seat in a bid to prevent him being re-elected.

Business Secretary Andrea Leadsom revealed the Tories are prepared to field a candidate against the incumbent speaker in a remarkable breach of convention.

Major political parties do not normally contest the seat held by the speaker but Ms Leadsom said Mr Bercow had “failed” in his duties since taking over from Michael Martin in 2009.

Mr Bercow was heavily criticised by several Tory figures after allowing MPs to take control of the Commons in a bid to block a no-deal Brexit this week.

Business Secretary Andrea Leadsom said he had "failed" in his role after this week's pivotal series of debates. (PA)

Writing in the Mail on Sunday, Ms Leadsom said the Speaker’s role was to be “a politically impartial, independent umpire of proceedings” who was in place “to protect the constitution and oversee the behaviour of the House”.

“But last week, the current Speaker failed us,” she claimed.

Ms Leadsom said by allowing MPs to use Standing Order Number 24 – a procedure used to trigger emergency debates – as a means of taking over Parliament’s timetable, Mr Bercow had not “just bent the rules, he has broken them”.


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She added: “What we saw on Tuesday was a flagrant abuse of this process.

“The standing order No.24 that the Opposition proposed wasn’t appropriate for a Motion.

“It was intended to ram through legislation for purely political motives.”

She said use of the standing order in such a way would lead “to the creation of bad laws” and acted as a “complete disregard to the will of the people”.

Ms Leadsom, who served as Leader of the Commons for almost two years, has clashed with Mr Bercow in the past.

In May last year the Speaker was alleged to have labelled Ms Leadsom as a “stupid woman”, as well as calling her “f****** useless”.

In March, Mr Bercow reprimanded Ms Leadsom for using her mobile phone during Commons business, while Ms Leadsom later accused the Speaker of failing to show MPs “courtesy and respect”.