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Bercow: People are 'suspicious' of formal politics

Commons John Bercow (right) walks with , Freddie Viggers in 2009.
Commons John Bercow (right) walks with , Freddie Viggers in 2009. Credit: Reuters

Commons Speaker John Bercow claims voters feel let down by mainstream political parties because they have not got what they voted for.

In a stinging verdict on the local election results, which saw poor turnout and a drubbing for the coalition, he suggested people felt disillusioned because the parties are "quite similar" and there "isn't a huge choice."

The Speaker, who is expected to remain politically impartial at all times, claimed many people are "suspicious or even despairing" about the political system.

In an interview for Sky News' Murnaghan programme, Mr Bercow said: "To some extent, people are suspicious or even despairing of formal politics as a means to give expression and effect to what they want.

"I think there is a wider dissatisfaction that people feel partly that the parties are still quite similar and perhaps there isn't a huge choice, and partly they feel, well 'I said what I wanted, and I voted accordingly, but I haven't got what I wanted or what I voted for two years ago'."

Osborne: 'We are focused on the really important issues that matter to people'

The Chancellor George Osborne
The Chancellor George Osborne Credit: Reuters

George Osborne today insisted the Government would "learn" from the verdict delivered at the ballot box on Thursday.

He told BBC1's The Andrew Marr Show: "I think what people are saying is focus on the things that really matter, focus on the economy and on education and welfare. Focus on those things, don't get distracted by too many other issues."

The Chancellor dismissed suggestions that voters had deserted the Conservatives in the elections as a result of gay marriage proposals or Lords reform as "clearly not the case."

But he said that while Parliament would debate the planned shake-up of the upper chamber, it was not a "priority".

He added: "We are focused on the really important issues that matter to people.

"Parliament can discuss these issues, Parliament is very good at discussing these issues, but it is certainly not my priority, the priority of the Government.

"It is not where the efforts of the Government and the executive are going to be directed."

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Tory MPs 'will not sleepwalk towards a next general election'

Nadine Dorries told BBC 5Live's Stephen Nolan Programme:

What we have seen on Thursday was pretty bad. A year from now we have bigger local elections and unless we change dramatically what we are doing now we could see even bigger losses.

The (Conservative) MPs in the House of Commons will not sleepwalk towards a next general election like Labour MPs did and watch their seats disappear because of bad policy.

Tory MP's warning to PM

Conservative MP Nadine Dorries
Conservative MP Nadine Dorries Credit: Conservative Party

Conservative MP Nadine Dorries has warned Tory leader David Cameron he will be kicked out of office by his own backbenchers within the next year unless he "dramatically" changes the party's policies.

In an outspoken attack, the politician described the Prime Minister and his Chancellor George Osborne as "dangerous", saying they were leading the Conservatives "towards defeat" at the next general election.

The MP for mid-Bedfordshire also hit out at Mr Cameron's "sneering" attitude and claimed backbench discussions about introducing a motion of no-confidence against the leader were already taking place following a dismal display at Thursday's local elections.

Gove: Delighted Boris won

Speaking at the National Association of Head Teachers (NAHT) annual conference, Education Secretary Michael Gove said the election results were "disappointing", but added he was "delighted that Boris Johnson had won the race for Mayor of London".

History tells us that the important thing for us to do is to take into account the electorate's concerns but to address people's fundamental worries and they are the economy and making sure we reward people that are doing the right thing.

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