The race to be the next speaker is formally on, with a number of candidates now openly campaigning. In truth many candidates have been quietly on the campaign trail for well over a year. Harriet Harman has the most sophisticated operation and the most support from the Labour benches. Another serious contender at this stage is Deputy Speaker Lindsay Hoyle. Harman took to the airwaves on The Today Programme to declare that she agreed with Bercow’s flagrant disregard for precedent…
Guido brings you the runners and riders to be the next speaker in full here…
- Harriet Harman (Lab)
- The (self-described) ‘Mother of the House’. Pitching herself as ‘continuity Bercow.’ That will go down well with Remainers but is unlikely to pick up much Tory support…
- Lindsay Hoyle (Lab)
- Deputy Speaker. Good sense of humour with a decidedly smaller head than his would-be predecessor. Seen as less activist with a broader appeal across the House. But will this Remainer Parliament want someone less keen on breaking the rules for their own cause?
- Chris Bryant (Lab)
- Loves Parliamentary procedure so much he wrote a book on it. An also-ran.
- Charles Walker (Con)
- A close friend of Bercow and loyal Theresa May fan. May want to add ‘speaker’ to his title along with his KBE this morning.
- Eleanor Laing (Con)
- Seen as more cooperative in the eyes of Brexiteers…
- Rosie Winterton (Lab)
- Another Deputy Speaker and former Labour Chief Whip under Miliband.
- Meg Hillier (Lab)
- Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee.
- Sir Henry Bellingham (Con)
- Promised to bring back ceremonial outfits, including wifs for the clerks and speaker. Will go down well with traditional Tories…
- Sir Edward Leigh (Con)
- Certainly the Tory Brexiteer’s favourite… so a no-hoper if Bercow insists on this cohort of MPs voting in the next speaker.
- Pete Wishart (SNP)
- Clearly doesn’t think Scottish independence is likely any time soon…
Expect backroom dealings and grovelling campaigning over the next two months…
UPDATE: After putting his name about, Pete Wishart has sheepishly pulled out
UPDATE II: Election for the next speaker announced for 4th November
UPDATE III: Shailesh Vara (Con) has emailed MPs announcing he is also running for speaker, promising to be impartial and to address “everyone in a respectful and fair manner“.