By Nadine White
Having unleashed the anger of ministers for what they argue to be “bias” during Commons debates on Brexit, speaker John Bercow could be denied a peerage when he retires.
This move would break a tradition dating back 230 years that former Speakers are automatically offered a seat in the House of Lords.
Last week, Bercow broke from parliamentary precedent to allow votes to take place on amendments to Theresa May’s Brexit deal.
A Cabinet source reportedly said: “It’s a good job peerage nominations are in our gift.
“I’m sure we’ll be thinking carefully about which individuals we would choose to elevate to the House of Lords.
“I can’t imagine we would look favourably on those who’ve cheated centuries of procedure.”
Last week, Bercow faced a backlash from Conservative MPs after selecting a proposal from Tory former minister Dominic Grieve, which attempts to speed up the process for the Government to reveal what it will do next if Theresa May’s deal is rejected.
Grieve’s amendment was tabled against a Government motion detailing the timetable for the Brexit deal debate, which Tory MPs argued was “unamendable”.
However, Bercow stood by his decision to allow a vote on the amendment – which was ultimately approved by 308 votes to 297, majority 11 – amid personal criticism and calls for him to go from Tory MPs during more than 60 minutes of points of order.
The Speaker also did not confirm that his decision was taken with agreement from the Commons clerk Sir David Natzler following questions by Commons Leader Andrea Leadsom.
This comes after Leadsom accused John Bercow of being biased against the government.
The Speaker sharply criticised Theresa May for deciding to cancel a vote on her Brexit deal.
He accused the prime minister of being “deeply discourteous” for not asking the permission of MPs.
Speaking to BBC Radio 4′s Today programme, Leadsom said it was a “challenge” dealing with Bercow.
“He’s made his views on Brexit on the record, and the problem with that of course is that the chair’s impartiality is absolutely essential,” she said.
Asked whether she believed his position was “tainted”, she replied: “He’s made his views known on Brexit.”
In October, the Speaker reportedly informed friends of his intention to stand this summer, following a published report that condemned a culture in Parliament in which abusive behaviour was “tolerated and covered up.”
Bercow, himself, has also faced allegations of bullying – which he has denied.
The tradition of retiring Speakers sees them stand down as MPs at the same time, triggering a by-election in their constituency.
Following this, they are then recommended for a peerage sit in the Lords as a cross-bencher.