Published: 18th February 2014
The Commons Speaker said in a newspaper interview that party whips should stop “orchestrated barracking” of MPs during the weekly Prime Minister’s Questions as it harms the reputation of Parliament.
He has now written to David Cameron, Ed Miliband and Nick Clegg warning that the public risk being alienated from democracy by the noisy nature of their weekly confrontation, and asking for ideas on how it can be reformed.
Regretting that some female MPs were leaving Parliament, Mr Bercow said: “There are people who think culturally the atmosphere is very male, very testerone-fuelled and, in the worst cases, of yobbery and public school twittishness.”
However, Tory MPs took to Twitter to counter his criticism. Alec Shelbrooke, MP for Elmet and Rothwell, said Mr Bercow should take a leaf out of Lady Boothroyd, who as Betty Boothroyd, was Speaker from 1992 to 2000.