Iain Dale reports that Ming Campbell is to throw his hat into the ring if and when the ‘Noes’ challenge the Speaker’s confirmation this afternoon.
This changes the dynamics of the situation greatly, Ming is respected across the benches, and unquestionably has the gravitas and dignity which would bring credit to the house. As a former silk he has the ability and authority to command respect, whereas John Bercow has on a number of occasions been on the edge of losing control of the House. The Squeaker certainly has lost self control.
People forget that Ming was one of twelve candidates for the position of Speaker when Betty Boothroyd stood down in 2000, but he lost out to Michael Martin. The House of Commons might have cause to regret that decision and may be minded to seize this second chance. Ming has one other great unspoken factor in his favour.
He isn’t John Bercow.
UPDATE : The betting has opened with Bercow heavily favoured to retain the Speakership.