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Could Speaker Bercow insist that Gord answers the question?

June 13th, 2009

westminster-aerial-view

What does Downing Street want from the election?

In many ways the arch-Thatcherite turn progressive, John Bercow, seems the ideal candidate to replace Michael Martin. He’s bright, a good communicator and a record of not being beholden to any faction. If he gets elected a week on Monday you could see him operating in a totally independent manner that might just make life harder for Number 10.

And it is this that makes me think that the chances of him getting it might not be as good as the current betting odds seem to indicate.

As a starting point take PMQs which the new person will be in the chair for a week on Wednesday. How would Gordon react, say, if he’s told that his standard strategy of simply ignoring questions which he’s not happy with is not acceptable? He’s been able to operate like this for the past two years and a toughening up from the chair could make life that bit more difficult?

This could also have serious political implications in the run up to the general election.

I cannot but believe that these are considerations that are being treated with some seriousness in the higher echelons on the Labour party.

The idea that Bercow would operate in a certain way because he’s getting the backing of many Labour MPs seriously underestimates the man. The very qualities that would make him good in the role might the be ones that that cause a move against him.

****Speaker betting****

Mike Smithson