- The Speaker of the House of Commons supported MPs who have opposed government Brexit legislation.
- Bercow cited hostile coverage by the Daily Mail and Daily Telegraph which targeted "mutineers."
- He said the newspapers "cannot understand basic concept of principled conduct."
- "You as MPs are never mutineers, you are never traitors," Bercow said.
- British satirical and current affairs magazine Private Eye reported on Wednesday that Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos looked into buying the publisher behind The Daily Telegraph newspaper, and that he was given a price tag of $900 million.
- A spokesman for the Barclay brothers categorically denied the story to Business Insider, saying the group is not for sale and it never has been.
- In recent years the media has reported that multiple buyers have expressed an interest in the group, but have been rebuffed.
LONDON — House of Commons speaker John Bercow has launched a scathing attack on two of Britain's biggest national newspapers following their coverage of Tory rebellions over Brexit legislation.
Last week 11 Conservative MPs voted for an amendment calling on the government to give Parliament a meaningful vote on any final Brexit deal reached between Britain and the European Union.
The government was defeated in a humiliating moment for Prime Minister Theresa May.
The following day the Daily Mail's front page pictured the rebels and branded them "self-confessed malcontents."
This followed a Daily Telegraph front page published last month which described rebels as "mutineers" following reports that Conservative MPs were planning to oppose May's plan to enshrine the exit date in law.
Speaking after a parliamentary debate on public harassment on Monday evening, Bercow said:
"You as MPs are never mutineers, you are never traitors, you are never malcontents, you are never enemies of the people.
"You are dedicated, hard-working, committed public-servants, doing what you believe to be right for this country.
"If there are people who cannot understand that basic concept of principled conduct, perhaps they need help to ensure that in future they do."
Watch Bercow defend MPs who voted for the amendment:
"You are never mutineers, never traitors, never malcontents, never enemies of the people" - the Speaker's message to MPs after hearing stories of online abuse. pic.twitter.com/0uU5bfGXK9— BBC Parliament (@BBCParliament) December 18, 2017
MPs who backed last week's vote have received violent messages and death threats.
Dominic Grieve, the MP who tabled the amendment, plus backers Anna Soubry and Ken Clarke have all claimed to have received death threats since last week's vote.
Soubry has submitted a dossier of violent threats against to her to Bercow. The document, seen by The Guardian, includes numerous calls for her to be hanged for treason.
An MP is who yet to be named has been forced to use a panic alarm in their constituency office.
Bercow described threats as a "kind of fascism."
The owners of a British newspaper group have denied trying to sell it to Amazon billionaire Jeff Bezos.
British current affairs magazine Private Eye reported on Wednesday that Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos had expressed an interest in buying the Telegraph group, and that its owners the Fred and David Barclay had floated a price tag of £700 million ($900 million). The group publishes The Daily Telegraph, The Sunday Telegraph, and the accompanying website.
A spokesman for the brothers denied the story.
The Eye reported that Bezos walked away thanks to the price tag and the group's financial struggles.
"Perhaps they thought he's worth so much that he'll pay anything," a Telegraph source told the Eye. Bezos already owns the Washington Post, which he bought in 2013 for $250 million. He was also an investor in Business Insider at one time.
A spokesman for the Barclay brothers told Business Insider: "The Telegraph Media Group is not for sale and never has been."
Rumours about various millionaires (and in Bezos's case a billionaire) buying the titles have cropped up before. In 2016 Russian entrepreneur Evgeny Lebedev, owner of the Evening Standard and Independent newspapers, tried to buy the group. He was rebuffed however and the Barclay brothers insisted at the time that the group was not for sale.
Amazon declined to comment when contacted by Business Insider.
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