John Bercow’s war with the Conservatives looks set to return after a lively exchange of words this lunchtime. The incident occurred after Javid responded to an urgent question from Labour on the steel industry regarding the 1,200 job losses Tata Steel.
Bercow decided that Javid had taken too long to answer the question and told him it should have been ‘blindingly obvious’ to make a government statement on the matter instead. Rather than put the Business Secretary down gently, the Speaker let his feelings be known by calling Javid ‘discourteous and incompetent’ before warning him that ‘it must not happen again’.
‘What he should not do is fail to communicate with me in advance, ignore the convention and greatly exceed his allotted time. It is I’m afraid discourteous and incompetent and it must not happen again.’
With relations between the Speaker and the Conservatives at a low after a number of Tories tried and failed to oust Bercow from his position earlier this summer, Mr S can’t see it being long before his enemies attempt another stunt of a similar nature.