The New Year’s Honours List 2020, published today, recognises the outstanding achievements of people across the UK. More than 1,000 people have been awarded, including high-profile politicians such as the former Conservative leader Iain Duncan Smith. One person, though, appears to have been left in the lurch.
John Bercow was denied a seat in the House of Lords, becoming the first Speaker in 230 years not to be automatically offered one.
Former Speaker Michael Martin was ousted ten years ago over his handling of the expenses scandal.
But, despite criticism at the time, he became Lord Martin of Springburn,
Lord Martin died last year.
Ex-Speaker becomes first in 230 years not to get a seat in Lords
John Bercow stood down as Commons Speaker in October
According to a report by the Mail Online, the move is seen as “revenge” from Prime Minister Boris Johnson over Mr Bercow’s handling of Brexit.
Allies of the Prime Minister said Mr Johnson wanted to rip up the convention that Commons Speakers are automatically elevated to the Upper Chamber when they resign, in the same way Mr Bercow had repeatedly ignored parliamentary precedent when dealing with Brexit.
During his time in the chair, Mr Bercow was often accused of not respecting constitutional conventions and showing a bias in his parliamentary decisions.
According to Brexiteers, he had tried to thwart a no deal exit from the EU and unfairly helped pro-Brussels MPs in his decisions.
He told students at Reading University in 2017 he voted Remain in the 2016 referendum because he “thought it was better than not”.
Moreover, in 2018, a bright-yellow “B******s to Brexit” sticker was spotted on the windshield of a black Range Rover in his parking spot outside the House of Commons.
Mr Bercow later claimed the car and the sticker belonged to his wife.
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Former Conservative leader Iain Duncan Smith
Prime Minister Boris Johnson
A Government source told the publication: “No one in this Government will be rushing to give Bercow a peerage.
“He likes to think of himself as a reforming Speaker, yet he’s been dogged by scandals and given up any pretence he is impartial.
“With bullying claims, his Brexit bias and a willingness to ride roughshod over established procedures, this speaker has undermined public faith in parliament.”
The news is likely to have upset Mr Bercow, as he had previously expressed desire to become a member of the Upper House.
He said after standing down: “That’s for other people to decide.
“But yes, I would accept, if it was offered to me.
“I want to write, consult, have fun, and do good.
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John Bercow on Italian TV
“I want to ensure that I’m solvent, and I would like to speak to a wide variety of audiences around the world.
“That would appeal. What I loathe and fear is dancing.”
The move will not leave the former MP for Buckingham empty-handed, though.
Since standing down, Mr Bercow has lined up a series of lucrative public engagements.
His election night punditry on Sky News reportedly earned him £60,000 and a few days later, he appeared on Italian TV on the late-night chat show ‘Che Tempo Che Fa’.
On Christmas day, he delivered an alternative address to the Queen’s Christmas speech, in which he called for more “personal courtesy” in politics and society.
The Channel 4 fixture was first broadcast in 1993 as a rival to the Queen’s own traditional festive address.
And according to a recent report by Mail Online, Mr Bercow has also signed to an after-dinner speech agency, JLA, that could earn him £25,000 for just one night of work.