John Bercow's Biographer Shocked At His Resignation
9 September 2019, 20:45
Watch John Bercow's biographer, Seb Whale, discuss his shock at the Speaker's resignation and why his legacy is so controversial.
Seb Whale admitted he was "taken by surprise" at John Bercow's announcement he will stand down but knew "something was afoot" when he discovered Mr Bercow's wife, Sally, was in the Commons.
LBC presenter Iain Dale asked about the 10 year legacy Mr Bercow will leave behind.
"Some people will say he's a great reforming Speaker, other people would call him a constitutional arsonist," said Seb Whale.
The biographer pointed to the Speaker's achievements such as a creche in Parliament where there was once a shooting gallery and his alteration of the dress code.
"Undoubtedly he's empowered backbenchers. Some argue he's probably empowered them too much so they're now taking control of government business and the order paper," he said.
"He's contravened some conventions and for that, it means his legacy is somewhat in doubt, really, as whether it's a positive or negative. It depends on what side of the equation you come from."
This came after today's announcement that John Bercow will stand down as Commons speaker on 31st October at the latest.