John Bercow shows his staying power (again) with epic chair stint

Written by David Singleton on 17 April 2018 in Diary
Diary

They don't call him Golden Bladder for nothing.

As the Commons sat from 2.30pm to shortly before midnight on Monday, one man was a constant presence in the Chamber.

Speaker John Bercow apparently remained in the chair for the entire session, having started with Home Office Questions and then stuck around throughout an epic seven-hour series of debates on Syria.

Calling a point of order at the end of the session, Tory MP Julian Lewis was in awe of the Speaker’s staying power but apparently concerned about his ability to take comfort breaks.

“May I ask whether any steps have been taken to reinstate the curtain-and-commode system that used to envelope the Chair, so that on occasions like today, when you have sat there continuously from when the House first met until the House adjourns this evening, you might be able to do so in a little more comfort?”

But Bercow – who previously earned the nickname Golden Bladder after sitting in the chamber for more than 11 hours without a loo break – said he was just happy to be there.

“Well, I am grateful to the right hon. Gentleman for his point of order, but I am not aware that any such steps are planned.

“In so far as my personal comfort is a matter of interest or concern to the right hon. Gentleman, which is very touching, and might conceivably be to other colleagues, I can assure him and them that I have not felt other than comfortable, privileged and exhilarated to have been in the Chair for the past nine and a quarter hours.”

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