Just days after heading his final Parliamentary session as Speaker of the House of Commons, John Bercow reportedly described Brexit as the biggest mistake the UK has made since the second world war.
His comments, where he revealed himself to have backed remaining in the EU, are likely to be met with frustration by pro-Brexit MPs who have long accused the former Speaker of bias during his term.
La Repubblica journalist Antonello Guerrero reported Mr Bercow at a foreign press association event saying “I don’t think it helps the UK. Brexit is the biggest mistake of this country after the war. I respect [the] prime minister, [Boris] Johnson, but Brexit does not help us. It’s better to be part of the power block.”
He took umbrage at the accusation that he blocked Brexit, instead stressing that “it was Parliament” that had prevented the UK from leaving the EU, “not me”.
He is known for his larger-than-life character, with clips of the Speaker shouting 'order!' having gone viral on social media. UK Media report that several MPs hope for a quieter, more reserved Speaker next.
Mr Bercow stepped down as an MP representing the constituency of Buckingham for the Conservative since 1997.