John Bercow has been the Speaker at the House of Commons since 2009. He is the first Speaker since the Second World War to have served alongside four prime ministers and to have been elected to the post three times. He has hit the headlines many times over the years, but this week he made news after he vowed to stop Boris Johnson from proroguing Parliament. Express.co.uk speaks to a former House of Commons clerk about the real reason John Bercow wants to stop Boris Johnson.
Ever since the Tory leadership race, speculation Boris Johnson plans to force through a controversial no deal Brexit by suspending Parliament has been rife.
Prorogation formally ends a parliamentary session and is marked with a ceremony in the House of Lords.
Once the Commons has been prorogued all motions that have not been answered, or bills which have not obtained Royal Assent, will not progress any further.
Any bill can be reintroduced in the next session by an MP or continue in the next session if a carry-over motion has been passed.
If Mr Johnson is concerned about MPs blocking the UK’s exit from the EU, he could advise the Queen to prorogue Parliament – which would send MPs away so that they cannot do anything in the Commons to hold up Brexit.
If the Prime Minister did this, Mr Johnson, who has insisted he will not agree to a new deal without the European Union scrapping the Irish backstop, could run out the clock and simply let a no deal Brexit happen on October 31.
Mr Johnson has said it is up to the EU to compromise to avoid a no-deal Brexit and he plans to leave the EU “come what may” on October 31.
Mr Bercow said he will “fight with every bone in my body” to stop Boris Johnson from proroguing parliament.
But why exactly is John Bercow so concerned?
According to political expert Eliot Wilson John Bercow is motivated to stop Boris Johnson from proroguing Parliament because he is “anti-Brexit”.
Mr Wilson said: “I think Bercow has sailed dangerously close to expressing a view more or less that Brexit should not happen and he is dead set against it.
“I think his opinions have really informed all of the procedural decisions he has taken since the beginning of the year, when that amendment in the name of Dominic Grieve was read and interpreted in a certain way, which was against official advice.
“Generally, there is a recognition or at least an acceptance that Bercow is anti-Brexit.
“In fact, there was a story recently about his wife’s car having a “b******s to Brexit” sticker on it.
“Personally, I believe he is coming dangerously close to nailing his colours to a political mast that is different from Speakers and I would argue is somewhat inappropriate.”
Mr Wilson also claimed Mr Bercow made these recent statements because he “likes to be the centre of attention”.
The former House of Commons clerk said: “Because I know John Bercow a little bit, and I don’t especially like him, I will say he likes being centre of attention. Bercow likes being the story.
“If he gets the option to be featured in the papers and go on television then he will take it. It is just his character.”
He added Mr Bercow also thinks it is his fundamental right as the House representative, seeing himself as “democracy personified”.
Mr Wilson reported the larger issue was that there is no majority for any plans regarding Brexit and that was the main challenge Mr Johnson faces.
He said: “I think the Prime Minister has a difficult job because it is clear that there isn’t a majority for no deal in the Commons at the moment.
“However, I am not sure that there is a majority for anything at the moment.
“That is why the series of indicative votes failed so badly, because everybody knew what they didn’t want. But no-one could agree what they did want.
“I do appreciate the Prime Minister’s difficulties but I don’t think simply avoiding it or doing it behind the back of parliament is really the way to go.”