'John Bercow has abandoned plans to announce his resignation as Commons Speaker later this month after being persuaded to stay on by anti-Brexit Tory MPs, friends told The Mail on Sunday.
Until last week’s decision by European Union leaders to allow Brexit to be delayed until the end of October, Mr Bercow had intended to make a statement to the Commons on April 23 declaring that he was finally making way for a successor after ten years in the job.
But he is understood to have now ‘ripped up’ the statement after coming under ‘huge pressure’ to stay put from pro-Remain MPs.
The plan will be greeted with dismay by Downing Street, which has been engaged in running battles with Mr Bercow over Theresa May’s thwarted Brexit deal.
The Speaker has infuriated No 10 by calling unhelpful amendments and trying to block MPs from voting on her deal more than once.
And pro-Brexit MPs will interpret it as part of a plot to stop the UK from ever leaving the EU.
It comes as Mrs May and Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn prepare for further talks in the coming days to try to assemble support for Mrs May’s deal – with Environment Secretary Michael Gove and Brexit Secretary Steve Barclay leading cross-party working groups on issues such as environmental protection and consumer rights.
A source close to Mr Bercow said that the Speaker had ‘listened closely’ to requests from Conservative MPs including Dominic Grieve, Oliver Letwin and former Chancellor Ken Clarke, along with Labour MPs Hilary Benn and Yvette Cooper: all five have used parliamentary stratagems to either soften or overturn Brexit.
This newspaper revealed in January that Mr Grieve had secretly met Mr Bercow in his grace-and-favour Commons apartment the day before the Speaker tore up the rule book to allow the former Attorney General to table an amendment which led to the Commons wresting control of Brexit from the Prime Minister.
Pro-Brexit MPs accused Mr Bercow of ignoring centuries of convention, overriding the advice of his officials and ignoring his duty to be impartial by mounting a ‘stitch-up’ over the amendment.'
Read more: John Bercow ABANDONS plans to resign as Speaker after Tory remainer MPs persuade him to stay so he can 'kill off Brexit'
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