The former Speaker of the House of Commons went out with a bang. With the Tories planning to unseat him at the 2019 general election following Parliament’s revolt against Boris Johnson’s prorogation, John Bercow decided to retire and not stand for re-election. The anti-Brexit Speaker was done and the government was in no mood to award him a peerage.
Certainly, this is unprecedented seeing as Bercow could well be the first Speaker to not go to the House of Lords in 230 years.
Now Sebastian Whale, the author of new biography John Bercow: Call To Order, has revealed what could be in the former Speaker’s way of getting that peerage but also how he could well still get it after all.
Speaking exclusively with Express.co.uk, the biographer said: “I think that if the investigations into the bullying claims find that he has been a bully, then no. In the short term at least.”
Politicos will know that Bercow has been accused of bullying by private secretaries Angus Sinclair and Kate Emms, as named in his autobiography Unspeakable, which is something he denies.
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When asked of a date of when the investigation would present its findings, Whale said: “No there isn’t a date and given everything that’s going on [with coronavirus], I don’t know if it’s all going to be pushed back.
“It was going to be around this time, early April, when the investigation would make some conclusions.”
Nevertheless, if Bercow was to be denied a peerage, the author added: “It wouldn’t be announced that he hasn’t got a peerage, he just wouldn’t appear on the list of confirmed peers.
“There wouldn’t be a big song and dance saying ‘John Bercow hasn’t got a peerage’.”
Yet the distraction of the pandemic could actually end up being in Bercow’s favour of getting his peerage after all.
The biographer said: “But, y’know, people have a short memory and down the line they might relook at it.
“And [they would] think, ‘Enough time’s past when we can forgive and forget’.
“That tends to be the way these things go, so that could happen.”
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He concluded: “In the short term I can’t see him getting a peerage, which would be unprecedented.
“Y’know he never was one for precedence was he?”
Meanwhile, the biographer also revealed the truth of why the former Speaker was so opposed to Brexit.
After all, Bercow was an arch-Eurosceptic in his youth, so what happened?
Whale revealed: “I spoke to a former No 10 aide who felt that he saw an opportunity to sort of move the debate away from concerns over his behaviour towards appealing to a certain section of society and by taking a stand against the government.”
Nevertheless, the biographer believes Bercow was sincere when it came to his antipathy towards the government’s approach to the House of Commons over Brexit.
He said: “He’s an incredibly smart guy and his views are adaptable.
“So maybe he just changed them over the years.”
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