Farage to challenge Bercow seat

By Liz Stephens

Ukip leader Nigel Farage, will announce tomorrow that he intends to stand against John Bercow at the next general election.

Speaking to The Telegraph today, Mr Farage said that Mr Bercow represented “all that is wrong with British politics today”.

It is unusual for an MP to challenge the Speaker in his own constituency, even more so as Mr Bercow has a majority of 13, 325 – making his seat one of the safest Conservative seats in the country.

Speaking about his decision to challenge Mr Bercow, Mr Farage said: “He was embroiled in the expenses saga and he presides over a parliament that virtually does nothing.

“He is not a Conservative and yet he is sitting in one of the safest Conservative seats in the country. It means the people of Buckingham cannot vote for a Conservative even if they want to.

“This is a part of England where we did very well in the European elections and local elections. We are very well organised and strong and I intend to fight this very hard to become the MP.”

Mr Bercow stressed his continued commitment to his constituency today before releasing a statement saying: “I am more than happy to be judged on my track record.”

There have also been rumours that an independent Conservative candidate could try and unseat Mr Bercow, an eventuality which could become more likely now that Mr Farage has broken precedent to challenge the Speaker in his own constituency.

ookmakers William Hill installed Mr Farage as a 9/2 chance to defeat the incumbent MP, who is 1/8 with Hills to retain his seat.

“Traditionally the Speaker is re-elected unopposed, but Mr Farrage will have done his homework before deciding to stand and must believe he can go close to winning in the wake of the expenses scandal,” said Hill’s spokesman Graham Sharpe.

Mr Bercow was elected after his predecessor, Michael Martin, was forced to resign over his poor handling of the MPs’ expenses scandal.

Although he won the position, he did so with almost no support from fellow Conservative MPs.

If he is defeated at the next election this would mean another Speaker’s election will have to take place.