EU Parliament chief met John Bercow to discuss 'shared' desire to to avoid No Deal

Daily Mail Online 2 months ago

Speaker John Bercow faced allegations of 'plotting' today after it emerged he met the EU parliament chief to discuss their 'shared' desire to avoid No Deal.

David Sassoli revealed he held talks with Mr Bercow in London this morning, telling MEPs they were on the 'same wavelength'.

Mr Sassoli said the pair agreed that the UK and EU Parliaments must have a key role in 'managing' the Brexit process.

'We share an awareness that a chaotic exit of the UK from the EU would work to the detriment of citizens on both sides,' he said.

But the news sparked anger from Eurosceptics including Nigel Farage, who said it was a 'disgrace' that the president and the Speaker had 'agreed to work to prevent a clean break Brexit'.

'What right does the Speaker have to do this?' he demanded. 

Speaker John Bercow (pictured in the Commons last night' faced allegations of 'plotting' today after it emerged he met the senior MEP to discuss their 'shared' desire to avoid No Deal
Speaker John Bercow (pictured in the Commons last night' faced allegations of 'plotting' today after it emerged he met the senior MEP to discuss their 'shared' desire to avoid No Deal
David Sassoli revealed he held talks with Mr Bercow in London last night, telling MEPs they were on the 'same wavelength'
David Sassoli revealed he held talks with Mr Bercow in London last night, telling MEPs they were on the 'same wavelength'
The news sparked anger from Eurosceptics including Nigel Farage, who said it was a 'disgrace' that the president and the Speaker had 'agreed to work to prevent a clean break Brexit'
The news sparked anger from Eurosceptics including Nigel Farage, who said it was a 'disgrace' that the president and the Speaker had 'agreed to work to prevent a clean break Brexit'

The warm words for Mr Bercow contrasted with Mr Sassoli's description of his meeting with Boris Johnson in No10 last night. 

He said those discussions had reinforced his view that 'not much progress' was being made.  

The Speaker is meant to be an impartial referee of debates, but Mr Bercow has repeatedly been 'creative' with the rules to frustrate the government - saying his duty was to champion MPs against the executive.

Theresa May's Brexit plans were thwarted partly as a result of his intervention, and last month a rebel law was passed ordering the PM to beg the EU for a Brexit extension if he has not secured a deal by October 19.

Mr Bercow was also at the centre of protests against the PM's decision to prorogue Parliament in the run-up to Brexit, saying it was 'not normal'.

At Tory conference last week, the current Commons Leader Jacob Rees-Mogg said he admired many of the things the Speaker had done in his 10-year tenure.

But he said Mr Bercow's 'recent mistakes' had brought the public standing of the House to 'the lowest point in modern history'.

Allies of the PM have made clear he will not follow the convention that Commons Speakers are automatically elevated to the upper chamber when they resign.

Mr Bercow dramatically announced last month that he will stand down from the chair and as an MP on October 31 - symbolically choosing Boris Johnson's 'do or die' Brexit date. 

Mr Bercow was branded a 'verbal playground bully' today as MPs lined up to take his place as Commons Speaker.

Nine senior parliamentarians took pot shots at the controversial parliamentary gatekeeper as they too part in a special hustings ahead of an election for the role.

Mr Bercow, who has infuriated Brexiteers over his interventionist policy over Brexit, and been at the heart of a bullying controversy, is to step down at the end of the month after a decade in the chair.

Tory MP Shailesh Vara said he believed Mr Bercow had 'tarnished the role of Speaker with his biasness' over Brexit and described him as a 'verbal playground bully'.

Mr Vara said Mr Bercow 'loses all authority to lecture to MPs as to how they should behave when his own behaviour is in question'.

He added: 'So I think that the speaker should always be courteous and polite, authoritative yes, but not demeaning to his colleagues.' 

The election of the next Commons Speaker will take place on November 4, after Mr Bercow - who has held the office since 2009 - takes the chair for the final time on October 31. 

One Cabinet minister told MailOnline at the weekend that the powers of the Speaker must be curbed if the Tories win the next election.

'I think we need a shake-up of the rules and the Speaker's powers and I think it's something we need to look at after the election if we get a majority,' they said

'When you have a rogue speaker, he is all-powerful.

'Parliament has a rulebook and it has conventions about its procedures that have developed over a long period for a very good reason.

'You can't have someone in that position getting up in the morning and deciding that he is going to do things differently and bend the rules as he wishes.'

The warm words for Mr Bercow contrasted with Mr Sassoli's description of his meeting with Boris Johnson in No10 last night
The warm words for Mr Bercow contrasted with Mr Sassoli's description of his meeting with Boris Johnson in No10 last night

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