LONDON, June 19 (Reuters) – John Bercow, the former speaker of the lower house of the British parliament, said on Saturday that he had joined the opposition Labor Party after spending most of his political career as a conservative legislator.
Bercow, who clashed with Prime Ministers Boris Johnson and Theresa May over their approach to Brexit and the treatment of Parliament, told the Observer newspaper he now believed the Conservative Party was “reactionary, populist, nationalist and sometimes even xenophobic ”.
As a speaker from 2009 to 2019, Bercow called attention to the normally low-key role with his distinctive calls to order and willingness to help lawmakers challenge attempts by May and Johnson to pass legislation. on Brexit.
Many Conservatives and Brexit supporters felt he lacked the political neutrality required for the post of president.
Bercow told the Observer that he now wanted to help the Labor Party oust Johnson from office.
“I am motivated by support for equality, social justice and internationalism. It’s the Labor brand, ”he said. “The conclusion I have come to is that this government must be replaced. “
Bercow entered parliament as a Tory in 1997, and according to parliamentary convention, his constituency was not contested by other major parties after he became president.
During his tenure as a speaker, he faced several accusations of intimidation of parliamentary staff, all of which he denied.
Reporting by David Milliken; Editing by Daniel Wallis
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