QUENTIN LETTS on John Bercow answering planted question from Julian Lewis on ...

We devote this bulletin to the announcement that 2018's 'Sycophantic Planted Question of the Year' competition has been cancelled. Pictured: Speaker John Bercow

We devote this bulletin to the announcement that 2018's 'Sycophantic Planted Question of the Year' competition has been cancelled. Pictured: Speaker John Bercow

We devote this bulletin to the announcement that 2018's 'Sycophantic Planted Question of the Year' competition has been cancelled. 

Not because there is a shortage of entries. Hardly. It is simply that the judges have taken the understandable decision that no one will match the extraordinary effort heard yesterday from Julian Lewis (Con, New Forest E). 

He produced a masterpiece of sycophancy, a bootlick so brazen that, in its completeness, it stood comparison with the Koh-i-Noor diamond.

Mr Lewis, who thinks himself a senior parliamentarian (he chairs the defence select committee), rose in points of order. Maria Miller (Con, Basingstoke) had just mentioned the, cough, awkward matter of Speaker Bercow's alleged mistreatment of another former member of staff. 

As BBC2's Newsnight reported on Tuesday, a one-time secretary to Mr Bercow has alleged that the Speaker ranted and raved at him, swearing, shrieking and smashing a mobile telephone to tinkling smithereens. Little chap had a proper bootie-stamping tantrum, apparently.

Viewers of Newsnight also heard it said that the poor secretary was obliged to sign a non-disclosure agreement and given a hefty pay-off with our money.

Mrs Miller sought further particulars of what sounds to have been rancid bullying by the occupant of a Chair which supposedly embodies civilised debate. She wondered if Bercow would make a personal statement.

Not because there is a shortage of entries. Hardly. It is simply that the judges have taken the understandable decision that no one will match the extraordinary effort heard yesterday from Julian Lewis (pictured) (Con, New Forest E), writes Quentin Letts 

Not because there is a shortage of entries. Hardly. It is simply that the judges have taken the understandable decision that no one will match the extraordinary effort heard yesterday from Julian Lewis (pictured) (Con, New Forest E), writes Quentin Letts 

The Squeaker, given advance notice of this question, started to read a printed text. He was 'extremely grateful' to Mrs Miller and claimed there had been no question of an ex-underling being forced to sign a

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