Bercow watch: Balls in breach of House rules

Today, a third test of Bercow’s resolve presented itself in the form of Ed Balls, Brown’s bruiser. Since Bercow’s appointment as Speaker, he has passed one test and failed one; he berated Brown for pre-announcing his HoC statement in the press but showed his partisanship repeatedly by favouring Labour over heckling issues.

Balls announced the scrapping the government’s National Strategies for Education in the media before giving a statement to that effect in the House.

Conservative MP for Christchurch, Chris Chope, in a point of order, called for Balls to apologise to the House for pre-announcing the scrapping of the policy in the media:

“On Wednesday Mr Speaker said when ministers have key policy statements to make the House must be the first to hear them.

“In clear breach of that ruling, today the Schools Secretary has announced through the Guardian and the BBC that the Government has abandoned its literacy and numeracy strategy.

“Either Mr Balls is himself illiterate or contemptuous of the Speaker’s ruling – or both.”

He asked the Deputy Speaker what powers she had to coerce Balls to apologise to the House and was told that the matter would be put to Bercow.

Balls had announced the scrapping of prescriptive teaching and oversight of literacy and numeracy periods in primary schools. The move is calculated to save £100 million per year.

Let’s see if Bercow can improve his score.

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