New Times,
New Thinking.

18 May 2010

Surreal scenes in the Commons

Bercow is justly re-elected as Cameron sits by Clegg.

By James Macintyre

The only expected thing that has happened this afternoon in the House of Commons, from where this post is being written, is that John Bercow has been re-elected almost unanimously as Speaker.

Quite right, too. He has faced outrageous challenges from fringe Tory backbenchers and in his own constituency as he has fought to continue to reform parliament.

The new Speaker was congratulated by the, er, new Prime Minister, David Cameron, who went on to have a dig at Bercow’s wife, Sally, who is sitting in the public gallery above. She took it in characteristically good humour.

What is harder to absorb is the sight of all the new MPs, with Labour on the opposition side, and of Cameron on the government benches, sitting next to Nick Clegg.

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I have written about how the Lib Dems rejected Labour’s offer of a “progressive alliance” in this week’s magazine, out on Thursday.

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