Speaker Bercow replies to the Point of Order raised by Penarth MP Stephen Doughty

Speaker Bercow replies to the Point of Order raised by Penarth MP Stephen Doughty

The Speaker of the House of Commons, John Bercow , has a effectively  banned the US President Donald Trump from addressing both Houses of Parliament  in Westminster Hall – during his forthcoming state visit  –  and has done so following a Point of Order from Penarth Labour MP Stephen Doughty.

Doughty makes his loaded "Point of Order" with the Speaker and will have been delighted to hear Bercow's rehearsed reply - But was Doughty speaking for Penarth?

Doughty makes his loaded “Point of Order” with the Speaker and will have been delighted to hear Bercow’s carefully choreographed reply

Doughty had already tabled  a so-called “Early Day Motion” calling on MPs to “deplore” the forthcoming state-visit of the US President to the UK and urging them not to allow him to deliver a speech anywhere in the Palace of Westminster.

This afternoon Doughty raised a Point of Order with the Speaker asking what discussions had taken place with the “keyholders” regarding the “offering of the honour of a speech to both Houses of Parliament in Westminster Hall or elsewhere in the Palace of Westminster”.

It appeared from the exchange that this was a pre-arranged scenario which seemed to have been deliberately engineered to provide the Speaker with an opportunity to make his announcement.

The Speaker said the right of a foreign leader to make a speech to both houses of Parliament was an “earned honour” and the opportunity was not automatically granted to every foreign leader on a State visit .

The Speaker of the House of Commons John Bercow said he will not sign an invitation to the US President to address MPs in Westminster Hall

The Speaker of the House of Commons John Bercow tells Doughty that he will not sign an invitation to the US President to address MPs in Westminster Hall

Bercow said that before the “Migrant Ban” he had already been opposed to President Trump giving an address in Westminster Hall. After the “ban” he was even more opposed to President Trump giving such an address in Westminster Hall .

Speaker Bercow said he didn’t have as strong a say as to whether or not the President could deliver a speech in the “Royal Gallery” [an alternative location in the Palace of Westminster] although he [ Bercow] would be one of the two signatories to such an invitation and he would not sign it.

He said if a State Visit took place it was a matter above the pay grade of the Speaker  but as far as “this place” [ the Palace of Westminster] is concerned I feel very strongly that our opposition to racism and to sexism and our support for equality before the law and an independent judiciary are hugely important considerations for the House of Commons”

There was clapping and applause from the Opposition benches – but no cheers from the Conservative benches of the Commons .Parliamentary sources say this afternoon’s events also raise a second question:  to what degree is Doughty representing the views of the constituents of Cardiff South and Penarth?




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  1. Freddie says:


  2. Nicksylv says:

    I for one am delighted that he won’t get the chance to pontificate his hateful policies in our parliament. I am sure the daily mail reading ukippers on here will have a different view though

    • Jack says:

      Ain’t you the superior intellect. Let us bow down before you and the Doughty one.

    • PR says:

      So you support state censorship? Personally I would prefer to see Trump speak and be questioned about his views so people can see his true colours. This has been the undoing of many politicians over the years. Creating a wall around these people does us no good in the long run, many people will wonder what the elite (as they seem to be known now) don’t want us to hear.

    • Dr Ceinwen Sawyer says:

      So it is OK though to welcome the Chinese with their abhorrent record of human rights and their undemocratic view of the world. Double standards.

      • cpissarro says:

        Xi Jinping, as far as I recall, was not invited to address Parliament. The Speaker is one of three key holders who effectively decides who gains access to the Palace of Westminster – a state visit can go ahead without their assent. It likely means Trump’s speech will be made in the Royal Gallery instead (from where Obama, Clinton and Reagan all spoke).

        It’s rather depressing how partisan our own politics is becoming over American issues. Trump is indisputably divisive, and the question is not of free speech but whether the prestigious platform is deserved. Since when does winning a US election infer a right to address our Parliament? I think Bercow is correct that it is an honour to be earned. Let us set the standard high, even if we have failed to live up to it previously.

    • Dr Ceinwen Sawyer says:

      Too right. I am peeved that Speaker Bercow chose to abandon his supposed impartiality to express his opinion when such a welcome was accorded to the Chinese and we cosy up to Saudi no matter which party is in power. At least Trump is transparent.

  3. Suzanna says:

    Stephen Doughty is certainly representing the views of this constituent of Cardiff South and Penarth.

    • Dr Ceinwen Sawyer says:

      You might want to think about the welcome that is given to abhorrent countries/Leaders with their merciless human rights records e.g. the Chinese.

      • snoggerdog says:

        fair dos though doc the chun ho was a fab retaurant.

      • hopenotnasty says:

        Trump is a fascist and a racist. No different to Hitler and Mussolini. We must oppose such hatred and devisive comments. American citizens empowered by Trump are openly being racist to many longstanding immigrant families who have lived peacefully in many communities. Well done Bercow and Doughty for speaking out.

  4. Louise C says:

    Good for Doughty and good for Bercow.
    I’ll especially enjoy the distress from others on the following comments now that our MP has actually achieved something. Hurrah!

    • Dr Ceinwen Sawyer says:

      ‘Our’ MP does not speak for everyone. Please think about the welcome we accord to world leaders mired in human rights atrocities. Double standards and superficial thinking behind these comments on Trump. Surely the way forward is through dialogue with Trump not alienation. Or is this too simple a concept for Doughty and his supporters?

    • LJS says:

      Blocking freedom of speech achieves nothing, it is not the sign of a democracy.
      Why would you enjoy seeing the distress of others?… Do you have issues?

  5. Ian Perry says:

    Stephen Doughty has immense support on his stance against Trump. In addition, he holds the moral ground. It seems to be only the Brexiteers of the UK (and a few extremists with reputations for racial discrimination of other countries) who support Trump outside of key states in the US.

    No US leader, never mind Trump, would not have been granted a State visit to the UK, had it not been for Theresa May’s weakness, and desperation. She rushed to grovel before Trump, who kindly took her by the hand and so she rewarded him with the State visit – forgetting usual protocol. And then she went to President Erdoğan of Turkey… The man who has fired and jailed so many Turkish citizens in recent months…

    And let’s not forget that her government is forcing the will of a segment of the 37% of the people eligible to vote at the referendum on the rest of us. Not leadership, no compromise, no bringing people together… And yet she cannot deliver on the promises. After Brexit, bananas will still be as bendy or straight as they are today (reference BBC Question Time last week).

    As for £350m a week for the NHS… Spending cuts are going to be necessary because of the threatened cuts to corporate taxation…

    This government, like previous governments, has ignored inequality and those in deprived areas. The government has turned on the university educated (see BBC research published today), and May herself has called us “losers”. So people who went to university are now ‘losers” according to this government… The government that has made fake promises to those who live in deprived areas, those who are xenophobic, or simply have no idea how the world around them works…

    Stephen Doughty is fighting against a tide of misinformation, lies, fake promises and threats… I’m no ‘loser’, and I will fight Theresa May and her idea that as a Citizen of the World, I am a Citizen of Nowhere. She wants to remove us from Human Rights protections – so after the EU, she wants us to leave the UN too…

    I could go on… The realities of “free trade” outside of the Single Market… The reason why there are so many rules within the single market that protect consumers, the environment and working conditions… “Never thought of that” say the hardline Brexit voters…

    • Dr Ceinwen Sawyer says:

      Stephen Doughty certainly doesn’t represent the views of all his constituents. I would have thought that a more diplomatic stance would have been to engage with Trump in discussion as a way forward instead of outright moral outrage as espoused by Bercow. It doesn’t wash with all of us.

    • PR says:

      Nice rant Ian, I bow to your ability to blame Brexit and the Tories for everything no matter what the subject is. I hear that both topics had a massive impact on the US elections. Good luck in your fight against Teresa May, “Citizen of the World”.

      • Jonno says:

        It’s good to see Brexit and the tories being blamed “for everything”. I always thought that that the VoGC, PTC, WAG and PCC were responsible for all the world’s ills.

    • Kevin Mahoney says:

      Ian you and your beloved Plaid Cymru lost the Referendum and it has been proven that the majority of the Welsh electorate disagree with your views on the subject, just get over it rather than continually whining on about the subject in every statement that you post on here.

      One of the reasons that the NHS is so strapped for money is because your party along with the other major political parties in this country insist that the UK gives away over £12bn each and every year to countries with space and nuclear weapon programmes as well as to those with appalling human rights records that make Donald Trump look like a bleeding heart liberal, all the while the people who pay for these handouts to other countries, our own citizens are dying whilst waiting for hospital treatment, you must be very proud of yourself.

      Donald Trump is a truly despicable man but then again so is John Bercow. I’m not sure when it was that politically motivated individuals such as Bercow and Doughty started deciding that they have the right to prevent the rest of us from observing and making their own minds up as to whether they approve of the words of other countries leaders.

      I listened just the other day to Doughty make a fool of himself during a national radio interview when the interviewer repeatedly asked him why he hadn’t laid down an early day motion against quite a number of World leaders with absolutely appalling human rights records who have visited the UK and been allowed to speak. Doughty blustered and blustered and said something about writing letters about these people rather than proposing a ban.

      He just endorsed his own hypocrisy and that of those who say nothing about leaders with records far worse than Trump.

      • Ian Perry says:

        Kevin, Have you ever listened to anyone who uses facts? Have you ever read beyond the headlines of newspaper editors trying to make sales by “shocking” people – with little regard to the truth?

        There is a lot wrong with how the UK organises and distributes foreign aid. Much of the money remains in the UK, creating jobs for people in this country – and locking in poorer countries to contracts with British companies… Too much of the money ends up in the pockets of a few already wealthy UK citizens. As in almost every government department, money has to be spent to meet spending targets – rather than address real needs.

        The problem with your posts, Kevin, are that you often do not know much about what you write about.

      • Chris David says:

        Well Mr Perry you raise some good point, but I have to ask. Are you a member of Plaid Cymru? The party that not only supports the spending of £500,000,000 PA on supporting the Welsh language- but wants to add to that? Now that’s very wasteful when an opt in policy would work at just a few million or less.

  6. Johnabutt says:

    For once the MP for Cardiff South & Penarth earned his MP’s pay.

  7. Chris David says:

    Well I’m largely apolitical- certainly not UKIP and very very certainly NOT Daily Mail. But in my experience when you deny free speech you fuel the fires if intrigue and ignorance.

    • Chris David says:

      Or without typos my original quote. “When you deny free speech you fuel the paradox of intrigue and ignorance”. Bercow’s under pressure and is a fool. If anyone can be bothered Jonathan Pie sums up the Trump Clinton dilemma and includes some nice observations on misinformation and censorship. Beware bad language- youtube.com.

  8. Tom says:

    I still see Doughty has still lost his neck.

  9. Frank Evans says:

    I wish doubty would concern himself with issues closer to home. He acts sometimes like the foreign minister of penarth, again YAWN.

    • Chris David says:

      Indeed. Quite a bit of pseudo tripe here I see. Doughty- get the potholes filled, the litter picked up and the doctors surgeries working.

      • Dr Ceinwen Sawyer says:

        Yes. Have you seen the disgusting mess of litter outside the St Fagan’s pub in Penarth? It really is foul.

    • Dr Ceinwen Sawyer says:

      Yes, that is funny. I’ll join you in the yawn!

  10. Mark Foster says:

    People like John Bercovitch and Jill Stein in the USA are incapable of learning the lessons of history. I fear the historical cycle is about to repeat itself.

  11. Max Wallis says:

    Tahnkfully the Speaker is independent – good on John Bercow for refusing to follow Teresa-the-appeaser.

    • Dr Ceinwen Sawyer says:

      Such a lack of intellectual dissection today. Surely the way forward with Trump is to engage the man in dialogue instead of a stance of pseudo moral outrage. Since when did we think alienation was better than discussion in our democracy.

      • hopenotnasty says:

        Trump is a bully. History has taught us a great lesson about appeasement from 1939. Peace in our time Neville Chamberlain. Trumps brand of politics is out of order. Our world is a more dangerous place as a result.

      • Ian Perry says:

        Dr Sawyer

        I am sorry that you have failed to grasp that we are opposing the granting of the honour of a State Visit, not dialogue with Trump and the US. Whilst I am sure that protests would greet Trump on a less formal visit, with less formal events, rather like those protests being held in the US, there would be far less protest in advance of a normal and less formal visit.

        Trump could have been invited on an ‘official visit’, a ‘working visit’, or even as a ‘Guest of the Government’. Formal state visits are normally at the invitation of the head of state, the Queen. Theresa May’s invitation to Trump exceeds her authority. Obama had to wait until 2011 for his only state visit, and previous US Presidents have had similar waits.

        In April of last year, President Obama visited the UK. This, like his visit in 2009, was not a state visit.

        Trump will receive a 21 gun salute, a military guard of honour, a state dinner and normally an invitation to address the legislative house…

        I am sorry that you have failed to understand that a state visit is not necessary for the UK government to have discussions with Trump and his team – or for Trump to visit the UK and have talks with Theresa May and her government.

    • Ann Other says:

      He’s not supposed to be ‘independent’. He’s supposed to be detached and impartial.

    • LJS says:

      By his very actions he has shown he is not independent.

  12. AK says:

    Wasn’t our Parliament once referred to as the mother of Parliaments and the home of democracy?

    No longer it seems.

    But Chris David, I’m not sure that our highly paid MP needs to be concerning himself with mundane local matters like potholes and litter picking. Surely a job for the local Councillors.

  13. Chris David says:

    If only AK but they have demonstrated they are incapable- PTC and VoG. What else is a junior and inexperienced MP for if not sorting out his constituency. Doughty needs to do his basic training and is grossly out of depth in WestMonster.

  14. snoggerdog says:

    all ive read about mr bercow is that hes an absolute wizz at spending taxpayers money,saying that he has got a very demanding job,——-order order,then back home to see what wifeys up to.

  15. Although I myself despise Trump along with many others , it needs to be pointed out that Muslim is not a race of people, there is no such country as Muslim , you cannot be called racist for using the word Muslim ………….its like saying ban Catholics , Catholic are not a race of people and so would not be racist , there is no such place as ‘Catholic’ and nor as I say is Muslim. They are forms of religion not race.

    • Nicksylv says:

      So anti Semitism isn’t a form or racism?

      • Chris David says:

        If we all just dropped religion- all religion it might help all round. I think thought evolutionary Sapiens are a long way off that.

      • Chris David says:

        The Semites were a race – but anti-Semitism was made up by various governments in 2005.

  16. Nicksylv says:

    All this nonsense about free speech and trump not being engaged with.

    He’s not being denied a voice. The issue is whether he is to be given the honour of being invited to speak before parliament which is quite different. . You can engage with the guy without bestowing honours upon him. Most other presidents have had to wait years before a state visit and few have been invited to speak befor parliament (if indeed they ever were) but let’s not let facts get in the way of a rationale discussion eh?

    I also don’t think I said anything about the Chinese, Saudis in my initial post either did I? The fact that there may have been some inconsistencies in the past does not mean I have to welcome trump?

    I find it ironic that the people on here going on about brexit etc don’t struggle with the notion that our great independent nation under the direction of our prime minister is so desperate for powerful friends we are rolling over for this guy at a time most of the rest of the world seem to be disgusted by him. I guess now that we have taken back control we are free to prostitute ourselves with who we can throw us a crumb from the table.

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