John Bercow no-confidence motion filed by Tory MP after Donald Trump state visit comments

Commons Speaker faces vote to oust him after saying the US President should not be allowed to address Parliament

Tom Batchelor
Thursday 09 February 2017 18:42 GMT
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Speaker of the House of Commons John Bercow
Speaker of the House of Commons John Bercow (Getty)

John Bercow faces a vote of no confidence in the House of Commons after a Conservative MP, angered at the Speaker's comments on Donald Trump, tabled a motion to oust him.

Mr Bercow riled members of his own party earlier this week when he said the US President should not be allowed to address Parliament during a state visit to the UK later this year.

James Duddridge, MP for Rochford and Southend East, described Mr Bercow's comments, which called out the billionaire businessman's "racism" and "sexism", as "wholly inappropriate".

He tabled the motion after earlier writing to Theresa May to ask for the Commons to be given a free vote in the event of a vote of no confidence in the Speaker.

The Telegraph reported that up to 150 MPs are prepared to back his motion to remove Mr Bercow.

Labour has said it would oppose a vote of no confidence, with shadow Commons leader Valerie Vaz saying she welcomed Mr Bercow’s “support for us and for the reputation of Parliament”.

She said: "When a person refers to a senator, Elizabeth Warren, as Pocahontas, who is then silenced by her party. When a person repeats the cry, 'Lock her up', of a candidate, when no offence has been committed.

"When a person suggests women should be grabbed in certain places without their consent. When a person has consistently questioned the birthplace of an American president, President Obama.

"Then I, born in Aden, Yemen, of Goan-Indian heritage, who may or not be directly affected by the travel ban, and others, welcome the support for us and for the reputation of Parliament."

Facing mounting criticism from within his own party, Mr Bercow was forced to defend his comments, which came less than two weeks after Mr Trump’s state visit was confirmed. “I was honestly and honourably seeking to discharge my responsibilities to the House,” the Speaker said.

John Bercow 'strongly opposed' to Donald Trump address to Parliament

He subsequently faced calls to resign on the grounds that he breached the neutrality expected of the Speaker.

But others, including members of Labour and the SNP, came to his defence.

Jeremy Corbyn tweeted: “Well said John Bercow. We must stand up for our country's values. Trump's State Visit should not go ahead.”

Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron responded: "This is the right decision by The Speaker.

"The Prime Minister might wish to kowtow to the nasty misogynist that now sits in the Oval Office but no-one else does. We do not want him to speak to us. He is not welcome.”

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