Mr. Speaker Martin is holed below the waterline.
His attempt to brazen out his crisis by placing sufficient blame on the Sarjeant at Arms to distract attention from his own personal culpability in allowing Police to search the Parliamentary office of Damian Green MP at best strained credulity and at worst was simply contemptible cowardice.
The support he is receiving from such figures as Peter Mandelson demonstrates the scale of the Speaker's failure: his performance has become a matter of party politics.
Now, we understand, the Speaker intends not only to remain in office until the next election, which might have been tolerated even by a House of Commons that has been severely shaken by his incompetence and cowardice, but even to stay in office after the next election.
This is simply not acceptable.
The next election could lead to a hung Parliament, with Labour losing the popular vote and yet still gain the larger number of seats. In such circumstances the country must have confidence in the key arbiters of the constitution. Speaker Martin has no such confidence.
In my view it should be made clear that the Speaker will stand down at the next election. Already over fifty Members of Parliament have expressed reservations about the Speaker, and the Leader of the House- despite the Mandelsonian manipulation in the background- has not been able to express confidence in the Speaker- despite the Prime Minister doing so. Indeed unless the Speaker makes it clear he will go, he should face censure by the House, up to an including impeachment from office. It should also be made clear that all parties will stand to contest Michael Martin's Glasgow seat.