Peter Hoskin

An absolute disgrace

An absolute disgrace
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Well, that was embarrassing and disgraceful in equal measures.  Michael Martin's statement was stuffed with the rhetoric of "taking responsibility", and there was much puff about "restoring trust", but he remained evasive and aloof.  His grand plan?  Convening a meeting between the party leaders - something that they can, should and have already done themselves - and, erm, that's it.  When it came to calls from the backbenches for him to resign - and there were plenty of those - he just repeatedly dismissed Douglas Carswell's motion as an "early day" one, rather than the more pressing "substantive" alternative.

Early day, substantive, whatever - I can't see the Speaker surviving this.  It's clear that he is a liability for both the Government and the House, and his authority is too compromised for him to preside over any meaningful reform.  So, the theatre today has basically changed nothing.  I suspect we all knew that this bad joke of a Speaker wouldn't take the honourable route, and resign all by himself.  But there's a whole host of people gearing up to give him a push.  And there are more ways for them to do so than by submitting a motion, early day or otherwise.

P.S. Let's plan ahead, shall we?  Say which MPs you'd nominate as Speaker in the comments section below, and we'll run a Coffee House poll later.