John Bercow makes it clear that he’s not a fan of Tommy Robinson
Watch: The Speaker called the far right activist a ‘loathsome, obnoxious, repellent individual’
In recent months, a few MPs have raised questions about the temperament and the judgement of the Commons Speaker. But there were no objections today when John Bercow spoke his mind about far-right activist Tommy Robinson.
The top parliamentary official was pulled into the row after the EDL co-founder made a surprise appearance in the Palace of Westminster - shortly after leaving a court hearing about contempt charges against him. According to the Sun, Robinson enjoyed a three course silver service lunch over two and a half hours with Ukip peer Lord Pearson.
SNP MP Stewart McDonald raised the issue in the Commons today as he called Robinson - real name Stephen Yaxley-Lennon - a “violent racist thug and fraudster”.
He argued: “Such a person shouldn’t be invited to walk amongst us on the parliamentary estate.”
Bercow responded: “I share his assessment of the individual concerned. A loathsome, obnoxious, repellent individual. And I make no bones about my view being the same as his on that front.”
However, the speaker noted that he could not comment on whether the House of Lords should have permitted Robinson to visit the estate.
Labour MP Lloyd Russell-Moyle had no such restraints. He told PoliticsHome: "The views of Tommy Robinson and the man himself have no place in Parliament. He’s a convicted fraudster and thug whose belief system is manifestly racist."
He added: "As for Lord Pearson he’s got a long record of making his own extreme statements and if there was ever a lesson against life-time appointments it’s Baron Pearson of Rannoch.
"The fact the British taxpayer has had to pay for him to be dining a right-wing extremist in the House of Lords is nothing short of an outrage.
"The both of them belong on the fringes of British society and not in our nation's parliament."