John Bercow

From Academic Kids

John Simon Bercow (born January 19, 1963), son of a Jewish mini-cab driver from the East End of London, is a politician, and Conservative Member of Parliament for Buckingham. Being 5ft 6in, he is currently, he is the shortest male Member of Parliament in the House of Commons. He claims that his height hasn't hindered his progress in the party.

He had a promising career, but resigned as Shadow Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, under Iain Duncan Smith, in protest at forcing Conservative MPs to vote against their conscience and oppose a Bill that would allow unmarried couples to adopt children.

He had previously said that there was a 'powerful case' for the introduction of same-sex marriages in the UK, and in October 2003, attacked Duncan Smith at the Conservative Party Conference.

John Bercow has changed his views many times during his political career. Starting out as an ultra-Right winger, he rose to be, briefly, Secretary of the Immigration and Repatriation Committee of the right-wing Conservative pressure group, the Monday Club, where he also stood as a candidate for their National Committee on a platform of supporting repatriation of coloured immigrants. At the time he declared that "the preservation of our national identity demands a massive programmed of assisted repatriation." He was well known at this time for his reverential imitations of his hero, Enoch Powell. Later he became an ultra Thatcherite 'libertarian', and eventually entered Parliament after unsuccessful candidacies where he managed to buck the national voting trend and seemed to turn voters away from the Conservative Party. Eventually he managed to secure the ultra-safe seat of Buckingham, some suspect through the influence of his friends from the now-defunct Federation of Conservative Students. Once in Parliament he initially revelled in his new-found reputation as a Conservative rottweiler, opposing the equalisation of the age of consent for gays and other legislation.

Michael Howard made him Shadow Secretary of State for International Development in September 2003, however he was dropped from this position in a reshuffle in September 2004.

Bercow devotes most of his time to criticising the Conservative Party, usually in left-wing newspapers. As a result, he is widely disliked by fellow Conservatives; indeed, one commentator has described him as "the Gollum of British politics; small, misshapen and gnomelike, yet strong, with a demonic inner drive. He is despised by all, because he has betrayed all." He is often spoken of as being likely to defect to the Labour Party.

Mark Seddon stood against Bercow at the 2001 election for the Labour Party. 23-year-old Luke Croydon, President of Liberal Democrats Youth and Students, is Bercow's Lib Dem shadow.

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