Michael Gove’s description of retiring Speaker John Bercow as the backbenchers’ backstop is spot on (Candidates line up to replace Speaker after Bercow tells MPs he will resign, 10 September).
But Bercow has not only enabled parliament to challenge the government’s position on Brexit, he has entertained and thrilled us with his oratory and wit. His hilarious interventions have made the last three years not only bearable but frankly enjoyable.
Bercow has enhanced Britain’s reputation abroad as a thriving democracy and others look on wishing they had a Speaker like him to invigorate their own parliaments. He has been the longest running one-man show in the West End and will be an impossible act to follow.
• Anyone doubting or denying that the outgoing Speaker ever operated in a devious manner only need look at his proposed date for leaving. The timing of John Bercow’s resignation was obviously engineered to pave a clear path for another remain-supporting Speaker to succeed him to the chair.
• Andrea Leadsom and her colleagues attack John Bercow for his “flagrant abuse” of parliamentary process (Tories will stand against Speaker at next election, 9 September). Bercow then announces he is standing down. Brexiters immediately call him a coward and a chicken. A perfect example of how some people wish to be confrontational whatever the situation.
• Unlikely scenario – John Bercow at one of the Commons bars with the prime minister (Johnson at the time of writing) and the MP for the constituency in which I live (Rees-Mogg): “One for your respective ditches ‘gentlemen’?”. “One for the ditch” being a phrase at last orders when everyone has had quite enough already.
• John Bercow was able to react immediately with sharp and uncompromising interventions to oppose MPs when they said outrageous things during parliamentary debates. Dennis Skinner has often displayed similar quick wit and determination in parliament over the years. We need him to be appointed as the next Speaker of the house.
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