The words of my first chief whip, on my first day, always come back to me when I hear such things; his words were “this place is full of clever b*****s, they are two a penny in this place, but there are very few nice people.”
How right he was.
Speaker Martin is one of the nice people, a decent man.
He is the 156th speaker and there is no mechanism by which he can be removed.
This is to protect the Speaker’s position from political interference, and that is how it should be.
I am sure of the 156 Speakers that Parliament has known, some have been good and some bad, some clever and some not. Some kindly and others fierce.
Whatever they have been, they have each embraced the Speaker’s chair with their own personality and idiosyncratic behaviour, making each reign of Speaker unique, unlike any other which in itself enhances the nature of the office.
There will be someone at the bottom of it all who has his eye on the Speaker’s chair. Someone who is fed up of waiting for his time to come.
I regard this rumour to pressurise the Speaker to resign as mutinous.
Maybe it’s a Labour MP who wants to get his backside into the chair before the government becomes Conservative led, thereby ensuring a continued reign of a Labour Speaker.
No MP feels enough animosity towards Speaker Martin to instigate a mutiny; self interest will be at the root of this somewhere.
For myself, I find him the kindliest of men. He made me feel welcome when I arrived as a new MP and I have never once been aware of our political differences.
He does frustrate me sometimes when he allows the PM so much leeway at PMQs. He could be a bit harder on ministers and a bit more generous to backbenchers, but is this enough reason to oust him and a tradition which has stood for hundreds of years?
Whoever is at the bottom of the plot should be very careful.
The only hope they have is to pressurise the Speaker to go.
I hope he stands his ground and is loyal to the office which was bestowed upon him.
If they attempt to introduce any other mechanism and set a precedent, whoever is at the bottom of all of this may find it comes back to bite them one day.