19 May 2009

Exclusive: Why the Speaker didn't resign yesterday

For the second time in 24 hours, Gordon Brown has met with Michael Martin.

GB: How do you think the statement went?

MM: Not bad.  I am learning all the time.  Funny, after 9 years in this job today was the first time I discovered the difference between a Substantive Motion and a Early Day Motion.

Frankly, I am rather annoyed with you.

GB: Why?

MM: On Sunday, you said you would provide me cover in the Chamber whilst you dealt with my pension.  It never happened.  I was ambushed.  Various nasty points of order were raised with Norway of all places being mentioned.

GB: I can’t always deliver on my promises.

MM: It is noticed.  Anyway, what's the news.

GB: I can’t find a way of fiddling the £100,000 of pay and perks due if you stayed another year.  There are some very nervous people in the Fees Office at present.

Also, I can’t guarantee that your son would succeed you when you stepped down as an MP.  Constituencies are not listening to me these days.

MM: Gordon.  I am not going until you deal with my pension and perks.  I don’t care how much I embarrass you.  If I am forced out before everything is agreed, I will give an exclusive interview to Jeremy Paxman.  I will tell him that the expenses scandal is all your fault and rather than resolve the problem, you wanted it all hushed up.

You've got 24 hours to come up with a solution.  Stop dithering.  At the end of the day, it makes no difference to me.  I will get the £100,000 from the BBC.  As for my son, with your record, he is unlikely to hold the seat.

GB: (Having turned bight red and throwing objects around the room).  I will come back to you within hours.

MM: Come to think of it, I may prefer to go on TV.  I missed that being Speaker.

Don't forget the briefing on Norway, that faraway country of which we know little.

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