Andrea Leadsom questions Common’s Speaker John Bercow’s impartiality

EU referendum. File photo dated 14/09/15 of Commons Speaker John Bercow who has suggested that the EU referendum result could have been different if 16-year-olds were allowed to take part, and refusing to lower the voting age may be a decision some MPs now regret. Issue date: Monday July 18, 2016. David Cameron's government repeatedly opposed attempts in Parliament to extend the franchise to 16 and 17-year-olds, but Mr Bercow suggested that the support among younger Britons for the European Union could have swayed the outcome. See PA story POLITICS EU Bercow. Photo credit should read: Rick Findler/PA Wire URN:28108160

House of Commons leader Andrea Leadsom has questioned the Speaker John Bercow’s impartiality over Brexit. She claimed that Bercow’s Brexit views were a “challenge” to MPs. It followed his criticism of the Government’s decision to cancel Tuesday’s Brexit vote.

Last year, Bercow told students in a video that he wanted to remain within the EU.

“Personally I voted to remain. I thought it was better to stay in the European Union than not.”

John Bercow

Leadsom was asked whether she thought that Bercow’s position on Brexit was “tainted”.

“He’s made his views on Brexit on the record, and the problem with that of course is that the chair’s impartiality is absolutely essential.

…”it’s a matter for him but nevertheless it’s a challenge and all colleagues need to form their own view of that.”

Andrea Leadsom

Bercow has come in for criticism recently, and in October faced calls for his resignation. Three Conservative MPs resigned from a committee to improve working life in Westminster, which the Speaker heads.

Will Quince MP said at the time that he did not believe that Bercow was able to resolve the “numerous and serious issues” that had emerged, which included accusations of bullying and harassment of staff of parliamentary leaders.

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