Downing Street May Block Corbyn’s Nomination of Anti-Brexit, Anti-Trump Bercow for Peerage

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - JUNE 21: Gentleman Usher of the Black Rod, David Leakey (R) walks with Speaker of the House of Commons John Bercow (L) across the Central Lobby of the Palace of Westminster after listening to the Queen's Speech during the State Opening of Parliament on June 21, …
Niklas Halle'n - WPA Pool/Getty Images

The outgoing 70-year-old socialist leader of the Labour Party, Jeremy Corbyn, has nominated the anti-Brexit and anti-Trump former Speaker of the House of Commons, John Bercow, to become a British peer according to claims.

As one of his final impactful actions as leader of the Labour Party, Jeremy Corbyn has added John Bercow to his dissolution honours list, according to reports that have not been denied by Labour. The move would mean that the controversial ex-Speaker could be in line to become a Peer of the Realm.

Yet Downing Street, which has the power to block such nominations, may stand in the way of the move, citing the convention that parties only nominate individuals who are party members themselves for the House of Lords, reports The Guardian. Before becoming officially neutral to take the speaker’s chair and his distinct drift leftwards, Bercow had been a Conservative Member of Parliament — and once a forthrightly right-wing one at that.

Bercow’s tenure as House Speaker was characterised by his trademark shouting of “Order” during sessions of the House of Commons, as well as his apparent efforts to block the will of the British public by stymieing the progress of Brexit and his fervent anti-Trump stance, at one point threatening to bar the President from speaking to Parliament.

“Some will be delighted that John has been nominated after trying to stop Brexit and inadvertently giving the Conservatives our biggest majority in decades. I am just glad the nomination did not come from my party,” said Conservative MP Martin Vickers, according to The Times.

Mr Bercow was also been at the heart of a scandal involving bullying within Parliament, for which he will face no penalty as Parliament lost jurisdiction over him after he left his role as Speaker in November.

Former Black Rod, David Leaky, said in October that Bercow did not deserve to be given a peerage as he “set an appalling example to the country, not least in publicly demeaning MPs in the Chamber and on TV”.

It is unclear whether Mr Bercow will serve as a Labour Peer, or as a crossbencher, as he was a Tory MP before becoming Speaker.

The Labour Party list of nominations also includes former Deputy Leader Tom Watson and Katie Murphy, the former chief of staff to far-left leader Jeremy Corbyn.

The move to nominate Ms Murphy has reignited accusations of antisemitism within the party, as she is currently under investigation by Equality and Human Rights Commission’s (EHRC) for her alleged role in discrimination against Jews committed by the Labour Party.

Jess Phillips, a candidate to replace Corbyn, came out against the nomination of Murphy, saying: “I don’t think anybody should be given a peerage who is currently under investigation by the EHRC.”

The Jewish Labour Movement (JLM) said that nominating Murphy is “deeply inappropriate” and called for it to be “rescinded immediately”, adding that Jeremy Corbyn is “using his final weeks in office to reward failure”.

Follow Kurt on Twitter at @KurtZindulka


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