James Forsyth

Bercow vs McLoughlin

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Iain Dale has news of a remarkable exchange between the Speaker and the Chief Whip last night (see from 22:16:30 in the video above). The coalition were attempting to pass a motion limiting the debate on tuition fees to three hours. Labour was trying to prevent this.

 

The Labour front bench shouted ‘object’ at the wrong moment so Bercow, with a broad grin on his face, coached them through it. At which point, Patrick McLoughlin heckled, ‘give them an indication, won’t you?’ McLoughlin then goes to leave the Chamber. At which point, Bercow explodes, wagging his finger and ordering the Chief Whip to remain in the Chamber.

 

This row won’t have done anything for Bercow’s standing on the Tory side of the House. McLoughlin’s criticism related to the perception, widespread among both Tory front and back benchers, that Bercow helps out the Labour side too much.