Ex-UK Speaker Bercow, scourge of Brexiteers, joins Labour

LONDON (AP) — Former U.K. House of Commons Speaker John Bercow, a longtime Conservative, says he has switched allegiances and joined the opposition Labour Party. Bercow was a Conservative lawmaker before being elected Speaker in 2009, and later gained international fame refereeing the country’s political drama over Brexit. By giving lawmakers chances to stymie proposed legislation about the U.K.’s exit from the European Union, he became a hero to opponents of Brexit and a villain to its supporters. He stepped down in 2019. Bercow told The Observer newspaper that the Conservatives under Prime Minister Boris Johnson had become “reactionary, populist, nationalistic and sometimes even xenophobic” and said the government needed to be replaced.