- The Washington Times - Saturday, February 11, 2017

The British parliamentarian who advocated this week against inviting President Trump to Westminster Hall may have done so to secure his position as Commons Speaker, the Daily Telegraph reported Friday.

John Bercow, the speaker of the House of Commons, said on Monday that Mr. Trump should be prohibited from addressing Parliament in the future on account of his “racism and sexism,” triggering support from across the political divide.

Mr. Bercow was previously expected to lose his post as Commons Speaker next year, the Telegraph reported Friday. His recent comments concerning Mr. Trump were well received by lawmakers who would oppose efforts to oust him, however, and may have been put together for that very purpose, according to the London broadsheet.

Government sources believe Mr. Bercow delivered the controversial comments in a bid to secure his post as Commons Speaker until 2020, the Telegraph reported Friday.

Bercow did this to win Labour, SNP and Lib Dem support for staying on,” said a source described as a senior member of Prime Minister Theresa May’s Conservative Party.

“He has orchestrated the whole thing,” the source said, according to the newspaper.

Mr. Bercow has served as a member of Parliament representing the English constituency of Buckingham for almost 20 years. First elected as a Conservative in 1997, he was elected by his fellow MPs as Speaker of the Commons, a nonpartisan position, in 2009.

In addition to labeling Mr. Trump as racist and sexist, Mr. Bercow took aim at the president’s recent executive order that briefly imposed travel restrictions on citizens of seven predominately Muslim countries.

“Before the imposition of the migrant ban I would myself have been strongly opposed to an address by President Trump in Westminster Hall,” Mr Bercow said Monday. “After the imposition of the migrant ban by President Trump I am even more strongly opposed to an address by President Trump in Westminster Hall.”

Despite being widely well received, Mr. Bercow’s remarks were hardly universally appreciated within Parliament. While he certain garnered support among some, his comments also caused upwards of 150 members of Parliament to back a motion calling for his ouster.


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