Speaker of the House of Commons, John Bercow, has annoyed MPs by using the Queen’s diamond jubilee to ‘lecture’ her on gay rights.
The Queen was in Westminster Hall to speak at an event in celebration of her 60-year reign.
In an introduction speech that lasted almost as long as the Queen’s own speech, Mr Bercow called Her Majesty our “kaleidoscope Queen” and gave a thinly-veiled plug for gay marriage.
Even the Prime Minister – who personally backs gay marriage – was caught on camera looking irritated by the Speaker’s brash actions.
Other distinguished members of the Westminster Hall audience visibly cringed at his words.
Mr Bercow is the president of gay rights group, Kaleidoscope Trust. Following his speech the group issued a press statement welcoming the choice of words.
The group said: “We congratulate the Speaker on his words”, adding: “we offer our own tribute to the kaleidoscope Queen”.
A spokesman for the Speaker later said that his reference to the “kaleidoscope Queen” was “not necessarily about the Kaleidoscope Trust”.
Parliamentarians were angered by the Speaker’s antics. One senior MP said: “It was too ghastly for words.
“As usual with Bercow it was all about him and his own political obsessions. It was completely ill-judged and rather embarrassing.”
Another MP said: “The speaker is entitled to his views on gay rights but he is not entitled to lecture the Queen on the issue when he is addressing her on our behalf at an event to mark her jubilee.”