John Bercow will say that ‘democracy has come in for a pounding’ and call for ‘personal courtesy’ as he delivers the Alternative Christmas Message.
The former Commons speaker, who stepped down in October after 10 years in the role, follows in the footsteps of Danny Dyer, Sharon Osbourne, whistleblower Edward Snowden and the husband of murdered MP Jo Cox in the TV slot.
A fixture on Channel 4 since 1993, it is seen as a rival to the Queen’s own festive broadcast.
Bercow will use the message to claim that “democracy has come in for a pounding”.
Speaking from a classroom at his children’s state secondary school, he says: “I passionately support parliamentary democracy. For all the criticism and abuse lobbed at MPs, I’m still a cheerleader for them.”
He calls for the nation to “take inspiration from young people” and “try to re-establish a civility of discourse”.
“It would be good for parliament, for democracy and for our own mental health…” he says.
“This Christmas, I urge that political difference, personal courtesy should become our guiding lights in 2020, in the Commons, in our workplaces and in our homes.”
The Alternative Christmas Message will be broadcast on Christmas Day at 2.25pm, just before the Queen’s Christmas Broadcast begins at 3pm on BBC One.
The Alternative Christmas Message will air on December 25 at 2.25pm on Channel 4.