The faltering attempt to remove the Commons Speaker comes after he said he “strongly opposed” the US President Donald Trump’s state visit to Britain. He told MPs earlier in February that addressing Parliament was “not an automatic right; it is an earned honour”.
Referring to the 1605 conspiracy to blow up Parliament, which involved Guy Fawkes, Alex Salmond, the former SNP leader, also defended the Commons Speaker, suggesting the attempt to remove him from his post would “fizzle out”.
John Bercow then came under increased pressure after footage emerged of the Speaker telling students at the University of Reading that he voted Remain in the EU referendum and explaining the biggest issues facing Britain in negotiations.
But an early day motion expressing no confidence in Mr Bercow put down by James Duddridge, a Conservative former minister, has so far received the support of just four of his colleagues, Andrew Bridgen, Daniel Kawczynski, Karl McCartney and Alec Shelbrooke.
Duddridge argues that Bercow’s decision to take public positions on Trump and Brexit has brought his role as Speaker into disrepute. Parliamentary rules state that Commons Speakers must be impartial, even in retirement.
They had previously believed they had the support of more than 100 MPs and a dozen Cabinet Ministers who wanted the Speaker to quit. Many have rallied to the Speaker, and he has enjoyed cross party support for his comments denouncing Trump.