John Bercow
The Tories and Liberal Democrats have team-up in a bid to unseat House of Commons Speaker John Bercow Getty

The Tories and Liberal Democrats have team-up in a bid to unseat John Bercow as the Speaker of the House of Commons.

Conservative grandee William Hague will put forward a motion to MPs today on whether a secret ballot can be held to vote Bercow out of office.

The proposal could see a ballot triggered if an MP shouts "object" when the Speaker begins to be re-installed after the general election in May.

Labour accused the Tories of "ambushing" Bercow and claimed the move was "personal".

Jenny Chapman, a Labour MP and member of the Commons Procedure Committee, dubbed the manoeuvre "sneaky".

"Tories in full-on nasty party mode today with plot to remove the Speaker. It's vindictive, sneaky and personal," the Darlington MP said.

"[The] last thing Parliament needs is a Speaker chasing votes, not wanting to upset MPs for fear of being ousted. Sometimes MPs need telling."

Bercow, who was elected as Speaker in 2009, also received some support from members of his former party.

Tory MP Julian Lewis said the vote was an "unworthy manoeuvre" by Hague and called on his colleagues to vote against it.

"One need not be a particular admirer of the Speaker to realise that this is no way for decent to behave," he said.

The Marmite moderniser

"I trust that members of all parties will not allow themselves to be manipulated in this unworthy fashion, and will make the effort to attend and vote appropriately, by rejecting the proposal to re-election the Speaker secretly rather than openly."

Bercow, who has billed himself as a moderniser, has faced opposition from the Tories in the Commons, notably from Lichfield MP Michael Fabricant.

Fabricant accused Bercow of swearing at the former clerk of the Commons, Sir Robert Rogers, last year.

"We don't know why he has chosen to retire early - though his working environment behind closed doors has not always been easy, as those in the know have already alluded, and in that respect despite Sir Robert having studied Anglo Saxon at Oxford and being told at least once in front of others to f.*.*.* off by you Mr Speaker, I think that wouldn't have encouraged him to stay," Fabricant claimed.

Bercow later in the year lost his bid to replace Sir Roger with Australian Carole Mills as the Commons clerk.

The Speaker led a panel, the governance committee, which recommended the move but it was opposed by MPs over fears that Mills did not have enough knowledge of Parliamentary procedure.

David Natzler has since been appointed to the position and means he is now Parliament's most senior legal and constitutional adviser.