Buckinghamshire Conservatives will break convention and challenge Bercow's seat

Andrea Leadsom, who has been embroiled in a long term feud with Commons Speaker John Bercow revealed that the Conservative Party will be breaking with the longstanding tradition at the next election.
Buckinghamshire Conservatives will break convention and challenge Bercow's seatBuckinghamshire Conservatives will break convention and challenge Bercow's seat
Buckinghamshire Conservatives will break convention and challenge Bercow's seat

For the first time, the Conservative Party will challenge the Speakers seat of Buckingham, breaking with the long-enduring convention not to contest the seat of the Speaker of the house.

The only challenges the Speaker usually faces are from 'fringe' political parties, such as the challenge from Nigel Farage for UKIP in 2010.

The challenge comes after John Bercow allowed 'no-deal' blocking legislation to be debated in the House of Commons.

It was revealed by the Business and Energy Secretary Andrea Leadsom, who has had a long running feud with the Speaker after he allegedly called her a 'stupid woman' in a parliamentary exchange.

Writing in the Mail on Sunday, Ms Leadsom said: “As an MP, a minister and a former leader of the Commons, I fully respect and appreciate the role of the speaker. But last week, the current speaker failed us.

“In allowing MPs to use Standing Order No 24 – an important procedure whereby MPs can debate urgent issues – as a route to taking over the parliamentary timetable and giving power to the opposition, the speaker hasn’t just bent the rules, he has broken them.

“So it is right that the Conservatives will recognise this fact at the next general election by standing our candidate against him in Buckingham.”

Formerly a Tory, Mr Bercow gave up his party affiliation when he took on the impartial role.

As the highest authority in the House of Commons, the Speaker chairs MPs' debates.

In order to be impartial, the Speaker resigns from their party, and - while they still stand in general elections - they are usually unopposed by the main parties, and they do not campaign on political issues.

The business and energy secretary and former leader of the house, Andrea Leadsom said the role of the Speaker was to be "a politically impartial, independent umpire of proceedings" and to "protect the constitution and oversee the behaviour of the House.

"But last week, the current Speaker failed us.

Ms Leadsom said allowing the opposition to control the agenda in this way "ignores the government's right to govern" and undermines democracy, prompting Mr Johnson's call for a general election.

"Bring it on, I say, and give us back an impartial speaker," she said.

Last year, Mr Bercow was among MPs accused of bullying by staff in the House of Commons, although he denied the allegations.