ANDREW PIERCE: Speaker John Bercow squeezes out debate on parliamentary

ANDREW PIERCE: Speaker John Bercow squeezes out debate on parliamentary bullying after leaving MPs furious over Brexit

Not only incandescent over his anti-Brexit shenanigans, many MPs are also furious with Speaker John Bercow for curtailing a parliamentary debate on bullying.

Was it, they wonder, because he finds the subject rather awkward — having himself been subject to allegations that he bullied some members of his staff?

Two days before being accused of ripping up the Parliamentary rule book to curry favour with Remainer MPs last week, he presided over a series of ministerial statements and invited 157 MPs — almost a quarter of the Commons — to speak.

The statements ranged from the NHS, to migrants crossing the Channel and the plight of British-Iranian Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe who is in prison in Tehran.

Not only incandescent over his anti-Brexit shenanigans, many MPs are also furious with Speaker John Bercow for curtailing a parliamentary debate on bullying, writes ANDREW PIERCE

Not only incandescent over his anti-Brexit shenanigans, many MPs are also furious with Speaker John Bercow for curtailing a parliamentary debate on bullying, writes ANDREW PIERCE

As a result, there were only 35 minutes left to debate a report that found widespread bullying and harassment in Parliament and which called for a change in leadership of the Commons. Only four backbench MPs were able to speak — and then just briefly.

Dame Eleanor Laing, the Deputy Speaker, was clearly irritated, saying: ‘It is a great pity that we had urgent questions lasting for two hours and eight minutes that were somewhat repetitive, and that we then had statements lasting for three hours and two minutes that were also repetitive.’

For his part, Bercow has faced allegations — which he denies — that he bullied two former officials, plus a claim that he called Commons Leader Andrea Leadsom a ‘stupid woman’.

In the report on bullying following her inquiry, Dame Laura Cox, a former High Court judge, had said: ‘I find it difficult to envisage how the necessary changes can be successfully delivered and the confidence of the staff restored under the current senior House administration.’

This was interpreted as a subtle way of saying ‘Bercow should stand down’.

Tom Watson’s day in the posh seats  

Labour’s deputy leader Tom Watson has submitted for inclusion in the Register of Members’ Financial Interests five tickets to watch Arsenal play Huddersfield in the Premier league last month. 

Their value was £1,750. For that kind of money, he must have been in a Royal Box-style seat scoffing caviar and champagne pre-match!

Labour's deputy leader Tom Watson has submitted for inclusion in the Register of Members' Financial Interests five tickets to watch Arsenal play Huddersfield in the Premier league last month

Labour’s deputy leader Tom Watson has submitted for inclusion in the Register of Members’ Financial Interests five tickets to watch Arsenal play Huddersfield in the Premier league last month

Cheerleader Chuka’s rumbled 

Is there no end to the hypocrisy of Labour anti- Brexiteers and their attempts to re-write history?

I ask because Chuka Umunna MP, a cheerleader for a second referendum, has been exposed for political opportunism by blogger Guido Fawkes. 

He has unearthed a video of the Streatham MP saying: ‘I’m sorry, I’m not one of those people who thinks we should be calling for a second referendum. 

‘I think that would just look like the referendum was fought under rules we agreed to, a result was delivered, and because we don’t like it we now want to replay it again — which will simply entrench a view that we’re some elite, who don’t want to pay any attention to the people.’

Is there no end to the hypocrisy of Labour anti- Brexiteers and their attempts to re-write history? I ask because Chuka Umunna MP, a cheerleader for a second referendum, has been exposed for political opportunism by blogger Guido Fawkes, writes ANDREW PIERCE 

Is there no end to the hypocrisy of Labour anti- Brexiteers and their attempts to re-write history? I ask because Chuka Umunna MP, a cheerleader for a second referendum, has been exposed for political opportunism by blogger Guido Fawkes, writes ANDREW PIERCE 

Rachel Riley, famed for her maths-whizz brain and short skirts on Channel 4’s Countdown, is under attack for condemning, in a podcast she made for the broadcaster, Labour’s anti-Semitism.

Karl Hansen, a Labour shadow minister’s aide, railed: ‘Rachel is a celebrity with 604k [Twitter] followers who smears her political opponents as anti-Semites and boosts troll accounts that are notorious for targeted campaigns of harassment. She isn’t standing up to bullying, she is a bully.’

Doughty Rachel, 33, who is Jewish, is not the kind of woman to be put off by such an ill-informed bruiser, who, incidentally, last year described Israel as an apartheid state.

Rachel Riley, famed for her maths-whizz brain and short skirts on Channel 4's Countdown, is under attack for condemning, in a podcast she made for the broadcaster, Labour's anti-Semitism

Rachel Riley, famed for her maths-whizz brain and short skirts on Channel 4’s Countdown, is under attack for condemning, in a podcast she made for the broadcaster, Labour’s anti-Semitism

Ann Widdecombe is touring the country with her one-woman show. Among many bizarre questions she’s been asked by audiences was whether she could understand why anyone might want to have an extra-marital affair with John Prescott. 

This left her almost speechless. ‘What are you supposed to say to that?’ 

Quote of the week: Ex-Labour MP Austin Mitchell said: ‘Angela Merkel agreed with David Cameron that Jean-Claude Juncker was a drunken, tax-fiddling, useless bum — but felt that was exactly why he was so well qualified to be President of the EU.’