John Bercow has been re-elected unopposed as Commons Speaker saying he wanted his epitaph to be “he was the backbenchers’ champion”.
Mr Bercow joked he would like the phrase engraved on his tombstone assuming such things are “not forever unfashionable” – in a clear reference to the much mocked Ed Stone.
The Buckingham MP, who is Jewish, proved controversial during the last Parliament, and said he was keen to continue his six-year career as Speaker for “a little longer” when asked if he would like to resume the post.
The House fell silent with Sir Gerald Kaufman, the new Father of the House, asked if anyone opposed a motion for Mr Bercow‘s reappointment.
Mr Bercow paid tribute to Sir Gerald as he recorded his desire to continue in the role.
He added: “It has been an honour to serve as Speaker for almost six years and I would be honoured to do so for a little longer if colleagues kindly agree.
“I will strive to ensure this House remains at the heart of our democratic system. All of its members, newcomers and veterans alike, should be part of the cast, not merely an audience.
“Finally, if there are five words I would like carved on my political tombstone – assuming such items are not now forever unfashionable – they are ‘he was the backbenchers’ champion’.
“On this basis, I submit myself to the House.”
Tory Jacob Rees Mogg (North East Somerset) seconded the motion.
He said: “It has been the habit of this House to continue with a Speaker who wishes to continue to serve and this is for very important constitutional reasons.
“The Speaker is the champion of the House of Commons against all comers. The champion of the Commons against the Lords, sometimes against the judges, but perhaps most particularly against the executive.”