Robert Buckland quizzed on Bercow's Labour party move
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Speaking to Sky News Mr Buckland warned John Bercow his “voice in politics” will be “diminished” for joining Labour. Following a dramatic overnight defection to Labour, Mr Bercow labelled the Conservatives “xenophobic” and “nationalist” in a scathing attack. But Mr Buckland hit back and stressed how no former speaker has done what Bercow has done and traditionally “leave party politics behind.”
Mr Buckland said: “To be fair to John Bercow I think he left the Conservative party a long time ago.
“I mean he is a private citizen, he is entitled to make decisions about his politics and I respect that.
“What I would say is I think as a former speaker he is somebody who even though he has left office does carry a degree of authority like his predecessors.
“And I think that his predecessor’s authority was enhanced by their refusal to go back into party politics… It certainly didn’t stop them from speaking out.
“I think him joining a political party actually has the effect of diminishing the force of his voice in politics however strong it wants to be.”
Mr Buckland then responded to the comments made by Bercow about the Tories becoming a “xenophobic” and “nationalist party”
He slammed: “I disagree totally with his characterisation.
“He is a former speaker of the house of commons and I do think that when people get elected to that very high office they put party politics behind them and I actually think that his voice would have been stronger if he stayed out of party politics!
“Getting back into party politics is something no previous speaker has done and I would gently suggest that his voice would have been strengthened if he had not made that choice he has announced overnight!”
More to follow…
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