Denying Bercow a peerage shows what a petty mean minded little man Johnson really is

June 1st, 2020

Going against the long-standing tradition is a mistake

It is being reported that Johnson has blocked the traditional move for former Speakers of the House of Commons to be elevated to the peerage once they have stepped down. In doing so Bercow is denied an honour that has gone to Speakers for decades if not centuries. This is one of those traditional parts of the unwritten constitution.

By becoming Speaker an MP has to give up their party links and former speakers sit in the upper house as cross-trenchers.

It is being said that this is because of allegations of bullying by Bercow when he was in office. That I’d suggest is just part of it. A big reason that Johnson is doing this is because Bercow was not as helpful to the government as ministers obviously thought he should. In fact Bercow made a big point in asserting the power of the elected house over the executive something that didn’t endear him to ministers.

In blocking a peerage to Bercow Johnson is also going against the advice of Bercow’s successor, Lindsay Hoyle. Back in December he urged Downing Street to follow “custom and practice”.

The problem for Boris is that he just looks petty and mean and this is the sort of move that could bite back at him at some stage in the future. It is also not respecting the Speakership.

Real Tories don’t ignore longstanding traditions.

Mike Smithson