John Bercow, the first Speaker of the House of Commons since World War II to keep order in front of four Prime Ministers, will take on a very different speaking role at the BMF All Industry Conference 2021 next June.
John Bercow entered Parliament as Conservative MP for Buckingham in 1997 and was appointed Shadow Chief Treasury and then Work and Pensions Secretary before resigning to support the Labour Government’s policy to allow unmarried gay and heterosexual couples to adopt. He is, however, best known as Speaker Bercow.
Having been elected to the role with a mission to “strengthen the backbenches and recognise that Parliament is more than a rubber-stamping operation for the government of the day”, he built a reputation as a reformer and was re-elected three times. During his decade long tenure he extended the time for PMQs and increased the use of “Urgent Questions”, requiring Ministers to make 685 statements on pressing issues.
His determination to champion the rights of Parliament inevitably attracted supporters and detractors, notably during the Brexit debates when he dismissed accusations of bias saying his role was to stand up for the rights of the House of Commons.
As Speaker Bercow, John had to be neutral but now there are no such constraints on his views, which should make for a memorable Conference address. As well as his Saturday morning speaking session, John will also join BMF members on Friday night’s Dine-Around.
John Newcomb, BMF CEO said: “In the year that the UK begins a new relationship with the European Union and in the wake of the disruption caused by Covid-19 we are delighted that John Bercow, who was at the centre of Parliament for a decade, will share his opinions with Conference.
“This session always draws a full house, and John follows in the footsteps of other political heavyweights including Michael Portillo in 2013, Alistair Campbell (2015), Paddy Ashdown (2017) and John Prescott (2019). I have no doubt that John’s address will once again be one of the highlights of our Conference.”
The dual-centre BMF All Industry Conference 2021 takes place in Harrogate and York from 17-20 June. The final merchant places and supplier packages are selling out fast. Book yours at www.bmfconference.co.uk or contact June.Upton@bmf.org.uk
The headline sponsor for the second year is the Crystal Group. Other key sponsors include ACO, BMN, Kerridge Commercial Systems, Knauf Insulation, Marshalls, Marsh Industries, Rockwool, SIG and Xtratherm.