John Bercow defends his record as speaker with stunning put-down for Andrea Leadsom
PUBLISHED: 02:32 13 December 2019 | UPDATED: 02:32 13 December 2019
Former speaker of the house John Bercow had quite the put-down for Andrea Leadsom over his decisions on Brexit-related parliamentary bsuienss.
Become a Supporter
Almost four years after its creation The New European goes from strength to strength across print and online, offering a pro-European perspective on Brexit and reporting on the political response to the coronavirus outbreak, climate change and international politics. But we can only continue to grow with your support.
Bercow, who has clashed with Leadsom in the past, accused the business secretary of suffering from "the rather material disadvantage of being wrong".
He added that she "didn't have a strong grasp of parliamentary procedure".
Speaking on Sky News as part of its live general election coverage, Bercow addressed accusations that he overly favoured the Remain argument as speaker when handling Brexit-related issues.
He said: "My job was to stand up for parliament.
"On the issue of Brexit, the truth of the matter is, if you look back, the consistent thread in my speakership was that I stood up for the rights of minorities to be heard.
"When Brexiteers were in the minority on the Conservative side, in fact, when the word Brexiteer hadn't even been coined, they were known as Eurosceptics, I consistently gave them their head."
He added: "I treated the Brexiteers in a fair way and I treated the Remainers in a fair way.
"And as for Andrea Leadsom, well Andrea was perfectly entitled to her views, she didn't have a very strong grasp of parliamentary procedure, and she was entitled to her opinion, but she suffered from the rather material disadvantage of being wrong."
Leadsom has questioned Bercow's judgment on Brexit more than once, saying in the Mail On Sunday in September that he had "failed" at being "a politically impartial, independent umpire of proceedings".
Bercow also rebutted allegations that he had bullied staff.
"First, I have never bullied anyone, in any way, to any degree in any situation at any time - I issued a straightforward rebuttal, it is not true," he said.
He continued: "Some working relationships fail, and a very, very, very small number of mine in the early years did.
"That doesn't mean one person maltreated another, what it proves is it wasn't the right fit, it didn't work."
Mr Bercow added that he has "harmonious" relationships with both his constituency staff and Speaker's office staff.
Become a Supporter
Almost four years after its creation The New European goes from strength to strength across print and online, offering a pro-European perspective on Brexit and reporting on the political response to the coronavirus outbreak, climate change and international politics. But we can only rebalance the right wing extremes of much of the UK national press with your support. If you value what we are doing, you can help us by making a contribution to the cost of our journalism.Become a supporter