John Bercow got more than he bargained for last night when he presented an award at Paddy Power’s Political Book Awards. Appearing on stage alongside Rory Bremner to giveaway the gong for ‘Polemic of the Year,’ the Speaker of the House of Commons was grilled by the impressionist on the rising cost of the Westminster gym upgrade.
Bremner said, ‘Can I ask you, have you come from the new gym?’
‘I have, I was there earlier, I didn’t see you there,’ Bercow replied, nervously.
The 53-year-old Scotsman then asked Bercow if it was really true that a spinning room at the costly gym had been named in his honour.
‘It’s not called the spinning room, you must always be accurate. It’s called the John Bercow room but it wasn’t chosen by me it was chosen by others,’ Bercow insisted defensively.
Still, Bremner went on, ‘But also, the gym has put on a few pounds hasn’t it, wasn’t supposed to be £250,000, it’s now a million?’
‘You’re broadly accurate,’ Bercow quipped before swiftly announcing Geoffrey Robertson QC as the category’s winner for An Inconvenient Genocide.
Other winners included David Kynaston’s Modernity Britain Book Two for ‘Political History Book of the Year’ while Matthew Goodwin and Robert Ford took home the award for ‘Political Book of the Year’ with Revolt on the Right: Explaining the Support for the Radical Right in Britain.