John Bercow: Could former Speaker still thwart Brexit? Biographer speaks out

The former Speaker of the House of Commons was once an arch-Eurosceptic, but over the years his views changed. By his final years in the job, John Bercow was very much a Remainer. But is there anything he could do now to thwart Brexit?

Speaking exclusively with, Sebastian Whale, author of new biography John Bercow: Call to Order, said: “No I don’t think so.

“He only took a couple of days to speak out.

“[He] that it was the biggest mistake in our post-war history.

“I don’t think he has any more influence.”


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But what about influence from outside the House of Commons, like reverse Nigel Farage?

Whale said: “I don’t think there’s a resistance there to lead anymore.

“I mean the election and everything we’re going through at the moment [with coronavirus] has just put that debate in perspective a little bit.”

However, the author admitted: “The transition period may well be extended, but I don’t currently see an appetite for it.”

And added: “He might well try and get involved in that.

“But I don’t think there is an avenue to be the sort of Remainer Nigel Farage.”

As for Bercow’s future beyond his tenure as Speaker, Whale admits that pre-coronavirus he was hoping to do some more TV and writing on top of his controversial autobiography Unspeakable.

Nevertheless, Bercow’s image is largely untainted abroad, where he’s become quite the personality.

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The biographer said: “I imagine that he would set his sights on taking advantage of that market that is there for him, that’s undoubted.

“He’s a cult figure in Europe and beyond.”

Meanwhile, the author thinks it’s still possible Bercow could get a peerage.

As it stands he could be the first Speaker not to go to the Lords in 230 years.

Whale admitted that the distraction of the pandemic could actually end up taking attention away from the investigation into the bully allegations which Bercow denies.

The biographer said: “But, y’know, people have a short memory and down the line they might relook at it.

“And [they would] think, ‘Enough time’s past when we can forgive and forget’.

“That tends to be the way these things go, so that could happen.”

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