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Speaker of the House of Commons to stand down 

27 12 0

John Bercow, the speaker of the UK’s House of Commons, will be standing down soon. He has been an animated figure, whose gesticulations and dressing downs of MPs have left a mark with viewers all over the world. At the height of the continuing Brexit saga, my 7-year-old son suddenly shouted “order, order!” with the kind of emphasis Bercow employs.

On a more serious note however, Bercow was also firm in ensuring that any MP speaking, from the newest to the most senior, was not drowned out by ill-disciplined MPs. His firm reassuring line was “the right honourable gentleman will be heard.” The voice of every single MP was always heard.

I started with this opening to the article, because that is what came to mind when it became clear that Omar Barghouti, the co-founder of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement (BDS), who was due to speak at the Palestine Solidarity Campaign fringe meeting on Sunday, would not receive his visa in time. The Labour Party Conference fringe will also be addressed by Shadow Home Secretary Diane Abbott MP, Labour Friends of Palestine and the Middle East Chair Lisa Nandy MP and trade union UNITE General Secretary Len McKluskey.

Barghouti’s voice, a principled and important mouthpiece for Palestinians, would be silenced by the UK’s Home Office. While a Home Office spokesperson put the reason for the delay down to Barghouti’s case being a “complex case,” he stated that Barghouti’s application remains within the 15 working day turnaround and that he “will receive a decision shortly.”

READ: UK minister vows to pressure councils and universities to adopt IHRA definition of........

© Middle East Monitor