All morning the BBC have been repeating that the Tories have won 318 seats in the House of Commons (expected to rise to 319).
But that is wrong, because they include Mr Speaker as a Tory. His seat is counted as a Tory seat, his votes as Tory votes. But he isn’t.
When anyone is elected Speaker they renounce their Party allegiance. So much so that they never revive it, even after they have retired. If they go to the House of Lords (which they usually do) they sit a Cross-Benchers (i.e. non-affiliated) members. John Bercow was a Tory, but he is not now.
That is why when there’s an election they stand with their “party” as “The Speaker seeking re-election” (see ballot paper). Traditionally no-one stands against them. To reinforce the point, this is a picture of him accepting his re-election last night, wearing a non-Party green and yellow rosette.
This morning I spoke to a local reporter and the Electoral Services Manager covering Buckingham – both were astounded the BBC were getting something so simple so wrong (thanks for the ballot paper and photo).
It may be only a small mistake, but given the high regard in which the BBC is generally held you’d expect them to get a simple fact like this right? I have tried to get them to correct it with no result, so I’ve lodged a formal complaint. Facts matter.