Four-letter exchange as MP says ‘foul-mouthed Speaker’ should resign

Parliament deserves better than “hot-headed, unpredictable and foul-mouthed” John Bercow as Commons Speaker, an MP said as he called for him to go.

Conservative Michael Fabricant used a parliamentary debate to accuse Mr Bercow of using obscene language, a claim denied by the Speaker.

The Lichfield MP used a motion to mark the retirement this summer of Sir Robert Rogers, after a 42-year parliamentary career, to claim that Mr Bercow had used the F-word at the clerk.

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It is claimed that Sir Robert is retiring early because of a difficult relationship with Mr Bercow.

And Mr Fabricant has written a column in a Sunday newspaper to offer an explanation for his decision to tell the anecdote, which he said was told to him by a “well-known public figure, a distinguished lawyer and knight of the realm” at a dinner party.

Mr Fabricant wrote: “I support many of the reforms that Mr Bercow has introduced, which have given more power to Parliament, and I did not take on the Speaker out of vengeance, nor to settle any score. I did it for just one reason: I do not like bullies.”

He later added: “Parliament deserves better than hot-headed, unpredictable and foul-mouthed John Bercow. The sooner we get a new Speaker, the better. Bercow should go.”

During the debate, Mr Fabricant told MPs suspected Sir Robert was retiring early having been told at least once in front of others to “f*** off by you Mr Speaker”.

Mr Fabricant spelt out the swear word to avoid censure from Mr Bercow.

Mr Bercow said: “I’ll ignore that last observation which suffered from the disadvantage of being wrong.”