Former speaker John Bercow has claimed Remain’s best opportunity to stop Brexit was in October – and suggested they could have succeeded if they had managed to work together.
Bercow was speaking at a gig in a community centre in Holland Park to raise money for a local charity when he answered questions on his time in the House of Commons overseeing the biggest political issue of modern times.
He claimed that a People’s Vote was possible back in October when Boris Johnson had hit a paralysis in parliament.
“A short-term coalition government to administer and deliver a People’s Vote might have been formed,” he is quoted by the Spectator as saying.
But he claimed that the failure was politicians – particularly the Lib Dems and Labour – not working together.
He said: “Jo Swinson wasn’t prepared to allow Jeremy Corbyn to be temporary prime minister. But the fear that this would lead to years and years of Corbyn and John McDonnell is for the birds.”
Bercow said that this failure stretched to the strategy of backing an election too.
He said that a “mirage” had led Swinson to believing that she could form part of a new government.
“Jo Swinson saw some evidence that she might win 60, 80 or 100 seats, and [there would be] every chance of a coalition government.”
He added: “Boris held his nerve”.
The former speaker, who missed out on a peerage in the New Year’s Honours list, is still convinced that Brexit could eventually be reversed.
He told the audience: “Brexit will hurt most those who have least. But the UK might re-join!”