United Kingdom lawmakers electing new speaker to replace John Bercow

John Bercow departed the House of Commons chamber for the final time as speaker last week

John Bercow departed the House of Commons chamber for the final time as speaker last week

Seven MPs were running to replace Mr John Bercow, who placed himself front and centre of the Brexit saga by choosing amendments and introducing procedures that Leave-supporting MPs claimed were created to frustrate Britain's departure from the European Union.

Chief Minister Fabian Picardo congratulated Sir Lindsay Hoyle for being elected as Speaker of the House of Commons.

MPs hoping to become the new Speaker sought to distance themselves from John Bercow, in a bid to stamp their own identity on the key Commons role.

"This House will change but it will change for the better".

In the three years since Britain voted to leave the European Union, the Speaker has played an increasingly influential role in the process of parliamentarians debating the rights and wrongs of Brexit and passing the laws needed to implement it.

He has presided over Prime Minister's Questions in the absence of the outgoing Speaker John Bercow and also controlled the Commons for every budget debate.

A secret ballot among MPs will take place once the speeches have concluded.

Another woman in the running was Ms Eleanor Laing, Mr Bercow's No. 2 deputy since 2013.

The new speaker will now give up his party affiliation while rival parties are traditionally not expected to field a candidate to contest his seat in elections.

It means there are now seven candidates in the running. He was first elected as a Labour lawmaker in 1997.

Hoyle's predecessor John Bercow stepped down at the end of October, after a decade in the role.

Sir Lindsay was reluctantly dragged to his chair as part of a tradition dating back to the days when speakers could be sentenced to death if they displeased the monarch.

Betty Boothroyd, who served from 1992 to 2000, remains the only female speaker in U.K. House of Commons history.

Mr Bryant has promised to be an "umpire, not a player" if he is nominated, which is seen as a jab at Bercow who is accused of getting too involved in politics. Like Bercow, he will run the daily business of the Commons, keeping lawmakers in line with robust cries of "Order!"

"I don't want the abuse of each other and I think we have got to close that down quickly and make sure it is a calmer place to be", he said.

Labour's Meg Hillier and Conservative Sir Edward Leigh were eliminated in the first round, and Dame Rosie Winterton was knocked out in the second round - with her Labour colleague Harriet Harman also withdrawing.

The 62-year-old is as unimpressed as his predecessor by the shouting and braying from MPs, once chastising Scottish Nationalists for humming the European Union anthem "Ode to Joy" in the chamber.

'The Speaker needs to be an independent anchor of our proceedings, unaffected by an allegiance to any political objective or to any party or group within Parliament, upholding our rules and conventions and applying them consistently'.

Latest News