UK House of Commons Speaker and Member of Parliament John Bercow announced on Monday that he will stand down at the next election or on 31 October, whichever comes first. The man who is known around the world for his use of “Orderrrrr!” has helmed the House for ten years and was, before assuming that position, a member of the Conservative Party.
Bercow, who has often been at the centre of Brexit debates in Parliament, announced, “At the 2017 election, I promised my wife and children that it would be my last. This is a pledge that I intend to keep.”
The statement is effectively a declaration of retirement, and tributes for the politician poured in from all sides of the gallery.
However, Bercow has often also been in the eye of the storm, accused by Brexiteers of impartiality on the issue of Europe. He has been criticised for not doing more to tackle certain issue of bullying and harassment in the house and of facilitating efforts by MPs opposed to a no-deal exit to take control of Commons business, reported the BBC.
Addressing some of the criticism, Bercow used the occasion to remind Parliament of the importance of procedure and democratic process, “Throughout my time as speaker, I have sought to increase the relative authority of this legislature – for which I will make absolutely no apology to anyone, anywhere at any time. To deploy a perhaps dangerous phrase, I have also sought to be ‘the backbencher’s backstop’.”
Here is a final clip from Monday that you absolutely have to see.