It may very well have escaped your attention with all that’s going on at the moment but we are now just one week away from the election of the next speaker. This is a very important election and the right decision needs to be made, we can no longer afford to waste time with reforms and we need someone who will be able to deliver them.
It is with this in mind that Ann Widdecombe has today warned the bookies favourite, John Bercow, that he should reconsider his nomination if he cannot secure more support from the Conservative benches. In today’s Daily Mail she said:
“I don’t want to take the job feeling that half the House doesn’t want me there, and John Bercow must consider that very, very carefully… He has got years ahead of him in the Commons. If that’s the situation then I think he must ask himself if this is the moment that he should be standing for Speaker.”
The “Conservative” MP Mr Bercow has next to no support from Conservative MPs. However Labour MPs are lining up behind him because they know they can’t elect another Labour speaker (3 in a row) so they will back Bercow, as they know his election will annoy the Conservatives. Many Conservatives have not forgiven Bercow for joining Brown’s ‘Government of all the talents’ as an adviser and they also dislike his strong backing for Labour measures.
This weekend the highly principled Frank Field ended his bid to become the next speaker because of his lack of support from his fellow Labour MPs. In a warning to Mr Bercow he blogged: “A Speaker must also, at the same time, command support amongst all the parties here at Westminster, including their own.” In my opinion Bercow should follow Field’s example and bow out of the race, we can’t afford another divisive speaker, the consequences could be too hard to bear.