Bercow vows to stay on until Brexit is resolved

PUBLISHED: 09:09 29 May 2019 | UPDATED: 10:30 29 May 2019

Speaker John Bercow in the House of Commons. Photograph: Jessica Taylor/House of Commons.

Speaker John Bercow in the House of Commons. Photograph: Jessica Taylor/House of Commons.

HOC/JESSICA TAYLOR

John Bercow has vowed to stay on in his role as speaker of the House of Commons, depsite specultation that he would retire in the summer.

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Bercow said said he would remain in the job while "momentous events taking place in parliament".

Speaking to the Guardian he said it was not "sensible to vacate the chair" while Brexit remains unresolved.

He said: "I've never said anything about going in July of this year.

"Secondly, I do feel that now is a time in which momentous events are taking place and there are great issues to be resolved and in those circumstances, it doesn't seem to me sensible to vacate the chair."

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There had been calls from within Brexiteer divisions in the House of Commons for the speaker to step down, accusing Bercow of anti-Brexit bias.

They fear he is attempting to block a no-deal Brexit.

Speaking in Washington, he said: "The idea that parliament is going to be evacuated from the centre stage of debate on Brexit is simply unimaginable.

"I'm very clear in my mind that parliament and individual parliamentarians will have strong views about these matters.

"There is a difference between a legal default position and what the interplay of political forces in parliament will facilitate."

Tory Brexiteer Mark Francois said: "As one vertically challenged MP to another, my sole advice to speaker Bercow is, if you are going to stay on in these momentous times that's fair enough, but it is important that all the players on the pitch retain confidence in the objectivity of the referee until the end of the match."

Bercow has been in the job for nine years, and was re-elected unopposed in both 2015 and 2017.

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