Great Britain

John Bercow reveals disappointment over peerage snub 'I made a lot of enemies'

The former House of Commons Speaker was not handed a peerage after he retired while an investigation into alleged bullying, which he strenuously denies, is carried out. The Government did not put his name forward despite previous speakers going on to gain a seat in the House of Lords after leaving their role in office.

Speaking on BBC Radio 4's Any Questions programme on Saturday, Mr Bercow said: "I did my best - I had some successes, I had some failures.

"I endured controversies. I made friends, I incurred enemies as well."

Discussing his disappointment at not being given a seat in the House of Lords after serving as Speaker for 10 years, he said the issue over the "long-standing convention" of Speakers being granted a peerage was "best decided by other people".

john bercow

John Bercow has revealed his disappointment over the peerage snub (Image: GETTY )

He said: "It was my enormous privilege to serve for just over 10 years as the speaker of the house of commons.

"I'm not going to sit awake at night worrying about it, all I will say is that it was an honour to serve for longer as speaker than any speaker in the post-war period.

"I'm sure I didn't please everybody, I know I didn't. I did my best and I didn't want to be speaker simply so I could say to my kids or one day, god willing, my grandchildren I served as speaker.

READ MORE: Jacob Rees-Mogg veiled dig at John Bercow 

john bercow

John Bercow has admitted he has made enemies (Image: GETTY )

"I tried to make a difference."

Following 10 years in Parliament, Mr Bercow stepped down as Speaker in 2019 and lamented Brexit as the greatest error from Britain since the Second World War.

Mr Bercow has argued that during his time as Speaker, he always acted impartially and refused to let his views govern how he behaved in his role.

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But the Speaker was a constant thorn in the side of Brexiteers and his behaviour in his final months prompted criticism from Brexit supporters who claimed he was trying to thwart the process of taking the UK out of the EU with many of his rulings.

The controversial former Speaker had a front-row seat and was often pivotal in the Brexit crisis smothering the UK since the EU referendum in June 2016.

He repeatedly came under fire for undermining the government’s Brexit plans and was accused of “unilaterally chaining the rules” to allow Tory Remainers to take control of the Commons.

For instance he allowed a motion to vote on the Benn Bill, which eventually passed into law and forced the Prime Minister to seek a Brexit delay from the EU.

Mr Bercow has previously admitted he "played a part" in blocking a No-Deal Brexit.

And just days after quitting as House of Commons Speaker, he sparked fury when he described Brexit as “the biggest foreign policy mistake in the post-war period”.

Mr Bercow said he would no longer “remain impartial” after stepping down from his decade long role.

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