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MPs bring motion of no confidence in Speaker for opposing President Trump

February 10, 2017
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A motion of no confidence has been tabled in the UK Speaker.

It comes after he spoke out against President Trump speaking to both houses of parliament – a huge honour for any foreign visitor.

James Duddridge, a former Foreign Office minister, told Sky News that there was a great deal of support on the Conservative benches for removing him.

“He has overstepped the mark a number of times but this most recent incident – where he used the Speaker’s chair to pronounce his views on an international situation in some quite detailed and lengthy manner – is wholly inappropriate and it means that he can no longer reasonably chair, as Speaker, any debate on those subjects,” he said.

“This has been happening more and more often from this modernising Speaker. This is perhaps the straw that has broken the camel’s back.

“He doesn’t really understand the degree of the anger in the House of Commons, the distrust in his role as Speaker of the House of Commons, and I expect over the recess – because parliament now shuts down for one week – over that week the number of MPs speaking out either publicly or privately to journalists will increase and increase and it will be known his position is untenable, perhaps even to the point that he doesn’t return on the Monday.”

The Lord Speaker, Lord Fowler, one of the three key people who would have to approve a speech in parliament, also criticised Speaker John Bercow for not consulting him.

He claims the first time he heard the view expressed was in response to a point of order in the Commons.

Lord Fowler told the House of Lords: “I should make it clear that I was not consulted on that decision or its timing.

“However, the Speaker contacted me this morning. He told me that while he maintained his view on the issue he was genuinely sorry for failing to consult with me.”

He added: “I do not intend to argue the case for or against Mr Trump’s visit – that is not my role as Speaker.

“But allow me to say that I have spent the last 30 years campaigning against prejudice and discrimination, particularly for the rights of LGBT people and those with HIV/Aids.”

Conservative politicians have criticised him for the comments, lambasting them as “unwise”.

Out gay MP Crispin Blunt, chair of the influential Foreign Affairs select committee, said: “He has no idea whether he will be speaking for a majority of the House of Commons, and this is why Speakers do not express their opinion.

“That’s the entire point, otherwise they can’t remain neutral and above the political fray.”

Speaker Bercow made the bold statement yesterday, telling MPs: “We value our relationship with the US.

“If a state visit takes place that is way beyond the pay grade of the Speaker.

“However, as far as this place is concerned, I feel very strongly that our opposition to racism, and to sexism and our support for equality before the law and an independent judiciary are important considerations in the House of Commons.”

The extraordinary intervention ended the chances of President Trump addressing both houses of parliament in Westminster Hall.

Previous recipients of the honour included Nelson Mandela, President Obama and Aung San Suu Kyi.

It comes after a petition to bar President Trump from a state visit gained almost two million signatures.

The Speaker of the UK House of Commons bans President Trump

John Bercow, Speaker of the UK House of Commons on why he's banning Donald Trump.

Posted by PinkNews on Monday, February 6, 2017

Related topics: Bercow, parliament, Politics, president, speaker, Trump

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