Sunday, September 22, 2019 | ePaper

Commons Speaker John Bercow to stand down

  • Print
BBC Online :
John Bercow says he will stand down as Commons Speaker and MP at the next election or on 31 October, whichever comes first. Speaking in Parliament, Mr Bercow said his 10-year "tenure" was nearing its end and it had been the "greatest honour and privilege" to serve. If there was no early election, he said 31 October would be the "least disruptive and most democratic" date. The ex-Tory MP succeeded the late Michael Martin as Speaker in 2009. He has faced fierce criticism from Brexiteers who have questioned his impartiality on the issue of Europe. In a break from normal convention, Mr Bercow was facing a challenge from the Conservatives in his Buckingham constituency at the next election - whenever it is called. His wife, Sally, was in the public gallery as he made his announcement. Mr Bercow said he had decided at the time of the 2017 election that this would his last Parliament as Speaker. If MPs reject calls   
for an early election later on Monday, as seems likely, he said it was important an "experienced figure" chaired debates in the final week of October leading up to the UK's possible exit from the EU. He warned that if the appointment of his successor was left until after the next election, newly-elected MPs might find themselves being "unduly influenced" by party whips in their choice of figure. "It will mean a ballot is held when all members have some knowledge of the candidates. This is far preferable to a contest at the start of a Parliament where new MPs will not be similarly informed," he told the Commons. "We would not anyone want a anyone to be whipped senseless, would we?"
In an emotional speech, he said he had been proud to stand up for the interests of MPs and to act as the "backbenchers' backstop". "Throughout my time as Speaker, I have sought to increase the relative authority of this legislature for which I will make absolutely no apology to anyone, anywhere, at any time."
Mr Bercow received a standing ovation from the Labour benches after announcing his imminent departure, but most Tory MPs stayed in their seats. Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn led tributes, saying the Speaker had stood up for and promoted democracy, adding that the "choice and timing" of his exit date was "incomparable".
For the government, Michael Gove said his determination to give MPs increased opportunities to hold the government to account were "in the best tradition of Speakers". When he was first elected, Mr Bercow said he intended to serve no more than nine years in the job. The Speaker is elected by all MPs in the House by secret ballot. By tradition, the role alternates between the two major parties. If this is maintained, the next Speaker will be a Labour MP. Potential successors to Mr Bercow include Commons deputy Speaker Lindsay Hoyle and Harriet Harman, the former Labour deputy leader and the longest-serving female MP in the House.

More News For this Category

Shakib controls group match against Afghans

Shakib controls group match against Afghans

Sports Reporter :Bangladesh beat Afghanistan by four wickets in the last league Twenty20 International Cricket match of the OBHAI Tri-nation T20 series at the Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium in

Players of Bangladesh, celebrating after dismissal of Rahmatullah Gurbaz during the sixth Twenty20 International Cricket match of the OBHAI Tri-nation T20 series between Bangladesh and Afghanistan at the Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium in Chattogram on Saturday. Afghanistan scored 138 for the loss of seven wickets in the stipulated 20 overs.

Players of Bangladesh, celebrating after dismissal of Rahmatullah Gurbaz during the sixth Twenty20 International Cricket match of the OBHAI Tri-nation T20 series between Bangladesh and Afghanistan at the Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium in Chattogram on Saturday. Afghanistan scored 138 for the loss of seven wickets in the stipulated 20 overs.

.

HK police fire teargas to disperse protesters

HK police fire teargas to disperse protesters

Reuters, Hong Kong :Hong Kong police fired tear gas to disperse democracy protesters marching in sweltering heat on Saturday after pro-China groups pulled down some of the "Lennon Walls"

Inter-univ literature, cultural contest held at MIST

UNB, Dhaka :Inter-university Literature and Cultural Competition 'AUNKUR 2019' was held for the third time at the premises of Military Institute of Science and Technology (MIST) on Saturday .Every

3 HMDSTU students among 5 drowned

Staff Reporter :At least five persons, including three of university students, were drowned in two separate districts on Saturday.In Dinajpur, at least three students drowned and two others were

Norway to conduct campaign on cleanliness in BD

bdnews24.com :The Norwegian embassy in Dhaka has celebrated the global 'Coastal Cleanup Day' on Saturday as its Ambassador Sidsel Bleken vowed to work in tandem with the Bangladeshi authorities

'Robber' killed in 'infighting'

UNB, Laxmipur :A suspected robber was killed in an alleged infighting between two gangs at Shakchar in Sadar upazila on early Saturday.The identity of the deceased could not be

Husband kills wife in city

Staff Reporter :A man was arrested on charge of killing his wife in the capital's Kadamtoli area on Saturday.The deceased was identified as Payel, housewife of Rashed, who was

Iran warns it will 'destroy aggressors'

BBC Online :Iran is ready to destroy any country that launches an attack on its territory, a senior military official says.The commander of Iran's Revolutionary Guard warned the US

10 BD women return home after serving 2 yrs jail in India

UNB, Benapole :Ten Bangladeshi women returned home through Benapole check post on Friday night after serving two years' jail in Indian prison.The women hail from Narail, Jashore and Barishal