Although Bernard Jenkin tabled an urgent question today, the Conservative politician didn’t seem to feel any sense of urgency when it came to arriving in time to read it. As John Bercow called Jenkin’s name, the Eurosceptic MP was nowhere to be seen — leading MPs to joke that he was busy in Brussels. ‘I find it very hard to believe that the honourable gentleman is in Brussels,’ Bercow replied.
When he did eventually arrive, Bercow launched into a lengthly tirade about Jenkin’s timekeeping skills:
‘It’s a considerable discourtesy when I grant the honourable gentleman’s urgent question application when he’s not here at once, he should be in the Chamber, This must not happen again. The honourable gentleman’s a very serious and conscientious Parliamentarian but you put a question in man, be here!
I’m sorry to be annoying but I am annoyed because the Houses’s interests are involved. It’s not just about the honourable gentleman. It’s about all the other members who bothered to be here on time, and it’s about the interests of the house and the minister was here well in time which is good.’
While Jenkin responded that he accepted Bercow’s response with ‘good grace’, Mr S suspects this will do little good when it comes to the Tories’ strained relationship with the Speaker.