Speaker of the House of Commons John Bercow has today announced that he will resign as Speaker of the House of Commons at the next general election or on 31st October – whichever comes first.
Announcing his decision in the Commons this afternoon, Bercow said that being speaker has been “the greatest privilege and honour of my professional life.”
There has been some speculation about why Bercow chose this time to stand down, and the BBC’s Faisal Islam has an intriguing theory:
As Laura Kuenssberg pointed out earlier today, a total of 37 MPs have said they will stand down at the next election. These include many Europhile Conservative MPs, who will almost certainly be replaced by Brexiteers at the next general election.
Consequently, through the timing of his departure (i.e. almost certainly before the next general election) Bercow may be hoping that the current crop of MPs plump for someone similar to himself – who won’t let the government ram through Brexit through anti-democratic schemes.
Bercow, as ever, is having the last laugh.