The Conservatives will field a candidate against Commons Speaker John Bercow at the next general election, Andrea Leadsom has said.
The Business Secretary revealed the move, a breach of long-standing convention, as she stepped up her feud with Mr Bercow, accusing him of breaking the rules of Parliament by allowing MPs to take control of Commons business.
In a stinging attack, Ms Leadsom said Mr Bercow had “failed” in his role and had permitted a “flagrant abuse” of parliamentary process.
She said the Conservative Party would field a candidate in Mr Bercow’s constituency of Buckingham at the next election as a result.
The Speaker of the Commons is an MP who stands in general elections but is usually unopposed by the major political parties.
“Give us back an impartial Speaker,” Ms Leadsom said.
Her comments come days after MPs backed a motion to take control of the Commons timetable to pass legislation to block a no-deal Brexit.
Writing in the Mail on Sunday, Ms Leadsom said the Speaker’s role was to be “a politically impartial, independent umpire of proceedings” who was in place “to protect the constitution and oversee the behaviour of the House”.
“But last week, the current Speaker failed us,” she claimed.
Ms Leadsom said by allowing MPs to use Standing Order Number 24 – a procedure used to trigger emergency debates – as a means of taking over Parliament’s timetable, Mr Bercow had not “just bent the rules, he has broken them”.
She added: “What we saw on Tuesday was a flagrant abuse of this process.
“The standing order No.24 that the Opposition proposed wasn’t appropriate for a Motion.
“It was intended to ram through legislation for purely political motives.”
She said use of the standing order in such a way would lead “to the creation of bad laws” and acted as a “complete disregard to the will of the people”.
Ms Leadsom, who served as Leader of the Commons for almost two years, has clashed with Mr Bercow in the past.
In May last year the Speaker was alleged to have labelled Ms Leadsom as a “stupid woman”, as well as calling her “f****** useless”.
In March, Mr Bercow reprimanded Ms Leadsom for using her mobile phone during Commons business, while Ms Leadsom later accused the Speaker of failing to show MPs “courtesy and respect”.
Thank you for helping to make Jewish News the leading source of news and opinion for the UK Jewish community. Today we're asking for your invaluable help to continue putting our community first in everything we do.
Unlike other Jewish media, we do not charge for content. That won’t change. Because we are free, we rely on advertising to cover our costs. This vital lifeline, which has dropped in recent years, has fallen further due to coronavirus.
For as little as £5 a month you can help sustain the vital work we do in celebrating and standing up for Jewish life in Britain.
Jewish News holds our community together and keeps us connected. Like a synagogue, it’s where people turn to feel part of something bigger. It also proudly shows the rest of Britain the vibrancy and rich culture of modern Jewish life.
You can make a quick and easy one-off or monthly contribution of £5, £10, £20 or any other sum you’re comfortable with.
100% of your donation will help us continue celebrating our community, in all its dynamic diversity...
Being a community platform means so much more than producing a newspaper and website. One of our proudest roles is media partnering with our invaluable charities to amplify the outstanding work they do to help us all.
There’s no shortage of oys in the world but Jewish News takes every opportunity to celebrate the joys too, through projects like Night of Heroes, 40 Under 40 and other compelling countdowns that make the community kvell with pride.
In the first collaboration between media outlets from different faiths, Jewish News worked with British Muslim TV and Church Times to produce a list of young activists leading the way on interfaith understanding.
Royal Mail issued a stamp honouring Holocaust hero Sir Nicholas Winton after a Jewish News campaign attracted more than 100,000 backers. Jewish News also produces special editions of the paper highlighting pressing issues including mental health and Holocaust remembrance.
In an age when news is readily accessible, Jewish News provides high-quality content free online and offline, removing any financial barriers to connecting people.
Voice of our community to wider society
The Jewish News team regularly appears on TV, radio and on the pages of the national press to comment on stories about the Jewish community. Easy access to the paper on the streets of London also means Jewish News provides an invaluable window into the community for the country at large.
We hope you agree all this is worth preserving.