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William Hague wanted a secret ballot to decide the Speaker's future after the election but Labour and some Tory MPs said it was a "grubby" plot.
They accused the Commons leader of springing the motion on MPs in the final hours of the current Parliament, before it breaks up for the general election.
In extraordinary scenes, MPs hurled abuse at Mr Hague for allegedly conspiring with Prime Minister David Cameron to oust Mr Bercow, who is unpopular with much of the Tory leadership.
In extraordinary scenes in the Commons, MP after MP rose to attack William Hague on the final day of his parliamentary career for a “grubby”, “squalid” and “nauseous” plot to unseat John Bercow.
Other MPs lined up to attack Mr Hague and Mr Gove – who looked chastened – as their motion was defeated by 228 to 202.
Afterwards, one Tory MP questioned how both men had been so inept to bring forward a controversial motion without ensuring they had the votes to get it passed. Even David Cameron, who was not due to attend, was called back to vote as the Government realised it was on the verge of losing.
Jacob Rees-Mogg, the Conservative MP for North East Somerset, said he was deeply saddened that Mr Hague “had put his name to a bit of parliamentary jiggery-pokery that has come about from some grudges that people bear to the Speaker”.