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Tories Plotting against Bercow

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TEHRAN, Feb 26 (ICANA) – The British government is pursuing a plan to force the Commons speaker, John Bercow, to step down if MPs vote against him in a planned secret ballot.
Saturday, February 26, 2011 2:11:37 PM
Tories Plotting against Bercow

Ministers are secretly backing the plan to ask all MPs about the continuation of Bercow's tenure after the next election. If the MPs decide that he should resign it would be the first time that a speaker has been forced to leave his post in the Commons. The secret voting has been proposed by MPs to ensure no public scandal erupts if Bercow does retain his job even after the ballot despite assurances by ministers that most of Commons members now favor a replacement for Bercow. Based on the current Commons trends, the House does not oppose a speaker who desires to continue in his post for more than one term but that is being challenged by the government. Conservatives have even signaled they may vote in favor of a Labour candidate including Deputy Speaker Lindsay Hoyle to make sure Bercow leaves. "He has got to go because you cannot have a Parliament where one side does not respect the Speaker," a minister said. Tories have accused Bercow of favoritism toward Labour MPs with Prime Minister David Cameron and Chancellor George Osborne publicly teasing him. Cameron had mocked Bercow for his short stature comparing him to one of the Seven Dwarfs, a joke later echoed by Osborne. Also last year, Tory Health Minister Simon Burns described Bercow as a “stupid, sanctimonious dwarf” in an exchange in the Commons. Conservatives say Bercow has got close to the Labour while the speaker should remain strictly neutral. "We're not going to stand in the way of anyone who wants to change the rules. MPs seem to want to have a go at changing the rules and they will be allowed a free vote. There won't be any whipping. Should John Bercow have been made Speaker? No he should not. Should we make it easier for the Commons to do something? Of course we should," a Cabinet minister said. The Commons Procedure Committee is deemed to table a motion to change the current rules that allow a public ballot on the speaker before the summer recess.

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