Simon Burns isn’t the only Tory MP who fancies a crack at the Deputy Speakership, even if, as James has blogged, he might be the preferred Number 10 candidate. Other names include Nadine Dorries and Eleanor Laing. But I’ve just spoken to Brian Binley, who says that he has pretty much made up his mind to stand too. Binley said:
‘I haven’t completely made up my mind but I’ve had a lot of support. I’ve pretty much decided but I just want to be in the House when it is sitting to see what the mood is there. All the support I have had so far suggests that it is going to be good.’
This is the Brian Binley of chambermaid and janitor fame, a man whose outspoken comments on the leadership will make him very popular indeed with backbenchers. One Binley supporter I spoke to this afternoon said:
‘Burns has quite a few enemies from his days in the whips’ office – he has also upset a lot of Tory MPs over HS2. He is also at constant war with John Bercow and relations between the Speaker and his deputies need to be professional and workmanlike, not petty and schoolroom-like. Burns would make the Speakers’ offices into more of a soap opera than they already are – Binley is a unifying candidate.’
Another MP in another part of the party tells me that the ‘standing joke is that Patrick McLoughlin takes Simon Burns with him wherever he goes to read his letters’. The pair served together in the whips’ office as well as in the Transport department and the implication is that McLoughlin always gets Burns a good job.
The contest may well depend on who MPs are feeling most vindictive towards: Bercow, who hates Simon Burns, or Number 10, who find Binley irritating. But it will depend the most on which candidate the Labour party decides to unite behind.Tags: Brian Binley, Conservatives, UK politics