Order, order! John Bercow attacks resentful MPs (and they're in his party...)


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Indy Politics

Usually, it is the job of the House of Commons Speaker to warn MPs to use only temperate language and refrain from indulging in reckless personal insults.

Unfortunately, there was no one in the BBC studio yesterday to remind John Bercow that calling someone "totally low-grade" or "embittered and resentful" is a tad unparliamentarian. In an outspoken interview, the Speaker lashed out at journalists who have ridiculed his Labour-voting wife, Sally, accusing them of writing "sub-standard, low music hall drivel".

He also risked infuriating loyal Conservative backbenchers by suggesting that criticism of the way he handles House of Commons business comes from "embittered" MPs who were "resentful" that their own political careers have not worked out as they had hoped.

Speaking to the BBC's World at One programme, Mr Bercow admitted that some of those who do not like him complain that he is "puffed up with his own importance" and that old allies on the Tory "hard right" are disappointed that he no longer holds the views he had in Margaret Thatcher's day.

But he added: "Sometimes people who haven't perhaps achieved what they wanted to achieve in their political career can display some sign of resentment. They have either vocalised their opinion in public or have constantly briefed against me behind the scenes. I have of course an idea about who some of these people are."

He said of media sniping at his wife, Sally, whom he regards as an "asset": "These people are no-hopers, [it is] totally low-grade sub-standard downmarket low music hall drivel and the sort of people who are responsible for it probably wouldn't dare to debate the issue in any very public way," he said.