Published On: Thu, Sep 5th, 2019

Brexit news: ‘Excessive’ John Bercow ‘boosted own ego’ with £37,000 bill on taxpayer | UK | News

The Conservative Party is set to depose the House of Commons Speaker, John Bercow, at the next election. It comes amid criticism the Speaker was favouring Remainers with his choice of bills and amendments to be voted on. The Telegraph understands the Tories are preparing to break with long-standing precedent and line up a Brexiteer to take on the Commons Speaker in his Buckingham constituency.

It is a tradition that no other major party runs any candidate against the Speaker in a general election, giving them a clear shot at winning, meaning there’s not a huge risk of the Speaker being booted out mid-way through their term in office.

However, Mr Bercow has often been accused of not respecting constitutional conventions and showing a pro-Remain bias in his parliamentary decisions.

Yesterday, he sparked further outrage for launching an incredibly personal attack on Michael Gove.

During the debate, Mr Bercow ordered the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster to behave and a “be a good boy” and astonishingly mentioned the personal life of the MP as he referenced his children’s schoolmaster.

Attacking Mr Gove, the Speaker said: “I say to the Chancellor of the Duchy, that when he turns up at our school as a parent, he’s a very well-behaved fellow. He wouldn’t dare behave like that in front of the headmaster and neither would I.

“Don’t gesticulate, don’t rant, spare us the theatrics, behave yourself, be a good boy, young man. Be a good boy.”

As another raucous full day of debates begins in Westminster, a newly-resurfaced report reveals how Mr Bercow splashed out £37,000 of taxpayer money on his official coat of arms and a portrait.

Mr Bercow’s official coat of arms sits in the frame of his portrait. It is dominated by a ladder, four roundels and two curved ‘seax’ knives.

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The ladder reportedly represents Mr Bercow’s humble beginnings in life, as the son of a taxi driver in north London.

The roundels mark Mr Bercow’s fondness for tennis and also represent his role as ex officio chairman of the Boundaries Commission of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

The seax knives, which were traditionally worn by Saxon warriors over 1,000 years ago, represent Mr Bercow’s past in Essex.

He went to university in the county, graduating in 1985 with a first class degree in Government.

The rainbow colours and pink triangles mark Mr Bercow’s championing of the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual or trans-sexual people.

They sit between his motto: “All Are Equal.”

According to a 2011 report by the Daily Telegraph, the TaxPayers’ Alliance, which highlights waste in pubic spending, criticised the cost of the painting and coat of arms.

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Mathew Sinclair, the alliance’s director, told the publication: “It’s very excessive at this time of public sector austerity for the Speaker to spend tens of thousands of pounds on a vanity portrait of himself.

“Following the MPs’ expenses scandal, Parliament should be cutting costs, not throwing taxpayers’ money away boosting John Bercow’s ego.

“Michael Martin was thrown from the job for wasting taxpayers’ money, so the current Speaker should be much more careful with how he spends our hard earned cash.”

A spokesman for the Speaker said: “The artist’s fee is agreed through careful negotiation, balancing the prices artists can command for their work against strict value for money considerations.

“The portrait and the coat of arms form part of the Parliamentary Art Collection. This is a national collection which illustrates the history of Parliament and British politics over the century.

“The portrait remains the property of Parliament.”

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