House of Commons speaker John Bercow has defended his controversial intervention over Donald Trump speaking in Westminster.
Bercow faced criticism after telling MPs he would fight any plans for Trump to address MPs and peers within the Palace of Westminster.
However, speaking to MPs in the House of Commons, Bercow maintained he was “commenting on a matter that does fall within the remit of the chair.”
It came as House of Lords speaker Lord Fowler revealed that Bercow had also apologised after failing to consult ahead of his comments.
Fowler said he would “keep an open mind” over any request for Trump to address parliament, but he added that the current system – under which three “keyholders” must approve speakers in the Westminster Hall, may need reform.
“There will be other leaders coming to this country who may also be controversial. The procedure as it stands means that either I or Mr speaker can effectively veto any proposal for a visiting leader to address Parliament, as least as far as Westminster Hall is concerned.
“I think it is for Parliament for consider whether there is a better way in which such decisions can be made,” Fowler said.
Asked if the Prime Minister retained confidence in Bercow, a Downing Street spokesman said yesterday: “The speaker is an issue for Parliament”.