Conservative Diary

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We must now hope that John Bercow will succeed

There is understandable anger amongst many Tory MPs (and readers of this website) at the election of John Bercow as the new Commons Speaker. He was elected with Labour and Liberal Democrat votes - many of them motivated by vindictive partisanship.

But Bercow won and Conservatives must now hope that - contrary to their suspicions - he succeeds in elevating the reputation of the Commons and empowering backbenchers against the executive.  Talk of installing a new Speaker after the next General Election - in the event of a Tory victory - is premature.  It would devalue an already devalued Speaker's office still further.  I did not agree with Jonathan Isaby and his support for Mr Bercow's candidacy but I agree with the words he wrote last night: "The public would find it incomprehensible if the first act of a new Conservative-dominated Parliament were to remove the parliamentary umpire."

John Redwood gets it right on his blog this morning:

"Conservatives now have to accept the result, and show respect to our new Speaker. We all need this to work. The Opposition should not prejudge this Speaker. He should be judged on how well he does at allowing Parliament to have more teeth and to hold a more central role in public debate."

6a00d83451b31c69e2011571360a16970b-500wi One final thought.  I'm far from a fan of John Bercow's political zig-zagging but I greatly respect his human rights campaigning.  Ben Rogers highlighted the new Speaker's record on international justice issues just two days ago.  One great way in which Mr Bercow could use his office would be to entertain the world's human rights campaigners and democracy protestors.  The Foreign Office often shuns these brave people and it would be very appropriate if the Speaker of the mother of parliaments gave them much more recognition and constantly invited the leaders and foreign spokesman of the major parties to sit down and hear their experiences of totalitarian and abusive regimes.

Tim Montgomerie

> Parliament: David Cameron's congratulatory marks to the new Speaker of the House of Commons, John Bercow
> WATCH: Glum faces on Tory benches as John Bercow is dragged to Speaker's Chair on the back of Labour and Liberal Democrat votes


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