UK House of Commons Speaker announces surprise resignation

The Speaker of the British House of Commons announced his resignation Monday, just hours ahead of a vote where Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s call for an early election is likely to be defeated.

John Bercow opened Monday's session by saying he would step down on Oct. 31 if the push for an early election fails.


Johnson has promised the United Kingdom will exit the European Union by that date.

"We degrade this Parliament at our peril,” Bercow told lawmakers, tearing up.

“Throughout my time as Speaker I have sought to increase the relative authority of this legislature for which I will make absolutely no apology to anyone anywhere at anytime."

Bercow was given a standing ovation by almost the entirety of Parliament after his announcement.

The resignation comes after a tumultuous week in British politics.

Johnson lost his Conservative Party majority in Parliament and failed in an attempt to ram through a no-deal Brexit.

Bercow has been an advocate for allowing Parliament to serve as a check on the prime minister’s power, a position that was crucial last week when the House of Commons passed a law allowing it to block Johnson’s attempts to take Britain out of the EU without a deal.