Backbench rumblings could spell trouble for Speaker

By staff

Backbench Tory MPs are already predicting trouble ahead for the new Conservative/Liberal Democrat coalition – with Speaker John Bercow also looking vulnerable.

Two Conservative backbenchers have already spoken out about their concerns with the coalition.

Newly elected MP for South Dorset Richard Drax said he thinks the alliance between David Cameron and Nick Clegg cannot last.

He told the Independent: “I have severe reservations about how long a coalition with the Lib Dems can last and about the consequences for our party in the long term. This is not what the public voted for – the Lib Dems lost seats.

“Why we’re in this position, in my view, is because the public is fed up with all of us. They have now got a hung parliament, which I don’t think most people wanted.”

Mr Drax said he believed David Cameron should not have entered into a pact with the Lib Dems, but instead tried to govern alone and trigger another election.

“I think if that had happened we’d have stormed home,” he said. “[The electorate] would have seen first hand the consequences of a hung parliament and that would have helped people make a stronger choice.”

Mr Drax’s backbench colleague, Ian Liddell-Grainger, MP for Bridgwater, said the coalition struggle to make a full term: “I think if it lasts a couple of years, this government has done well. The Lib Dems will find it more difficult to take criticism than we will. Their history of being in government is pretty sad.”

The paper reports that backbench Tories are threatening to vote against a bill for electoral reform and that Lib Dem MPs are expressing dismay that energy secretary Chris Huhne appeared to accept that new nuclear power stations could well be built.

Discontent in the Tory ranks, could also spell trouble for Speaker John Bercow next Tuesday.

Only one MP needs to object to his re-election to spark a formal vote. Many Tory MPs are angry that Mr Bercow took his seat voted in by Labour MPs last year.

The Times reports that Mr Bercow’s friends expect there to be at least one objection to him resuming as Speaker.