John Bercow to step down today as speaker of the House of Commons

epa07961866 A grab from a handout video made available by the UK Parliamentary Recording Unit shows John Bercow (R), Speaker of the House of Commons of the United Kingdom, during a debate at the House of Commons parliament in London, Britain, 14 October 2019 (reissued 31 October 2019). John Bercow announced 09 September 2019 he would step down as speaker of the House of Commons on 31 October 2019. EPA-EFE/UK PARLIAMENTARY RECORDING UNIT / HANDOUT MANDATORY CREDIT: UK PARLIAMENTARY RECORDING UNIT HANDOUT EDITORIAL USE ONLY/NO SALES

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A grab from a handout video made available by the UK Parliamentary Recording Unit shows John Bercow, Speaker of the House of Commons of the United Kingdom, during a debate at the House of Commons parliament in London, Britain.

John Bercow announced 09 September 2019 he would step down as speaker of the House of Commons today, the 31 October 2019.

Bercow, who is standing down as MP for Buckingham, has been a contentious figure, with some MPs questioning his impartiality when it comes to Brexit.

But paying tribute on Wednesday, Boris Johnson said he had been an innovator and a “great servant” of the House.

The prime minister compared Bercow – who is a huge tennis fan – to an interventionist umpire who had “peppered” the Commons with often “unreturnable volleys and smashes”.

During Bercow’s final Prime Minister’s Questions on Wednesday, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn also praised the Speaker’s efforts to modernise the Commons and the role he had played in promoting parliamentary democracy abroad.

Photo: EPA-EFE/UK PARLIAMENTARY RECORDING UNIT/BBC

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