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Nigel Farage hits out at ‘little man’ John Bercow during first Commons speech

In Europe
July 09, 2024
Nigel Farage hits out at ‘little man’ John Bercow during first Commons speech

Nigel Farage has used his first Commons speech to accuse “little man” John Bercow of trying to “overturn” Brexit during his time as Commons speaker.

The Reform UK leader, who dubbed his party the “new kids on the block”, elicited groans in the chamber as he took aim at Mr Bercow when welcoming Sir Lindsay Hoyle’s re-election as Speaker.

During his 10 years as speaker, Mr Bercow made numerous enemies among Tory Brexit-supporting MPs due to a series of decisions perceived as favouring the Remain camp.

Reform UK leader, Nigel Farage speaking in the House of Commons

Reform UK leader Nigel Farage was successfully elected for Clacton in his eighth run at the Commons (House of Commons/UK Parliament/PA)

Mr Farage said: “We absolutely endorse (Sir Lindsay) entirely for this job. And it is, I must say, in marked contrast to the little man that was there before you and besmirched the office so dreadfully in doing his best to overturn the biggest democratic result in the history of the country.

“We support you Sir, fully.”

Reform UK, formerly the Brexit Party, was founded in 2018.

Prior to last week’s election, the party had only one MP, Lee Anderson, who defected from the Conservative Party.

MPs in the House of Common

(PA Graphics)

Reform returned five MPs, including Mr Farage, who was successfully elected for Clacton in his eighth run at the Commons.

Mr Farage also said: “We have no experience in this Parliament whatsoever, even though some of us have tried many times over the years previously.”

The Speaker election marks the first day of the new Parliament, which saw 335 new MPs welcomed to the chamber.

Prime Minister Sir Keir Starmer vowed to “put an end to a politics that has too often seemed self-serving and self-obsessed”, while Conservative leader Rishi Sunak told the Commons: “Our democracy is powerful and, as we have witnessed, it can be definitive.”

Liberal Democrat leader Sir Ed Davey speaking in the House of Commons

Liberal Democrat leader Sir Ed Davey thanked Sir Lindsay for the care he showed MPs (UK Parliament/PA)

SDLP leader Colum Eastwood went on to joke that new MPs should not fall out with the Speaker.

He said: “I want to take this opportunity also to welcome all the new members, even the ones that I profoundly disagree with. The one piece of advice I have to give every new member here is to remember that the Speaker doesn’t just chair the meetings – he’s the boss.

“He is in charge of everything around this place and I would do well be it not to fall out with him.”

Liberal Democrat leader Sir Ed Davey thanked Sir Lindsay for the care he showed MPs, including the concern he exhibited for those with vigorous election campaign schedules.

PA infographic showing MPs in House of Commons after general elections

(PA Graphics)

Over the six weeks of the campaign, Sir Ed was known for stunts such as bungee-jumping, paddle-boarding and kayaking.

He told the Commons: “Mr Speaker-elect has always been a real champion for the security and safety of all members and all our staff as well as looking after our health and welfare. We are grateful to you for doing that.

“Sir, just yesterday, you asked after my health following my active campaign and the House may be interested to know that after I reassured you about my health you expressed real enthusiasm about bungee-jumping.”

Sir Ed also said: “We on these benches will hold the Government to account, that is our job. We will focus on the health and care crisis, we will focus on ending the sewage scandal, we will focus on helping people with a cost-of-living crisis.”

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