Published: Wed, September 11, 2019

House of Commons Speaker John Bercow Will Step Down Amid Brexit Chaos

House of Commons Speaker John Bercow Will Step Down Amid Brexit Chaos

Chorley MP Sir Lindsay Hoyle has emerged as the favourite to replace outgoing Speaker of the House of Commons, John Bercow.

Bercow's retirement will take effect either on Monday night if the current session of Parliament is ended without a successful vote to hold a snap general election, or, in the case of a snap election, on October 31, after the debates surrounding the new Parliament's legislative agenda.

Bercow has served as speaker of parliament's lower chamber for 10 years, overseeing heated debates on Brexit and making decisions as to what the house should do, based on centuries of precedent.

A Government source said they would be "hugely surprised" if Bercow was elevated to the upper chamber, as is customary for speakers leaving office. He says he is simply fulfilling his role of letting Parliament have its say.

The chaos unfolded in the early hours of Tuesday morning, after a day of high drama in which Johnson lost his sixth parliamentary vote in as many days and Bercow announced his impending retirement as Speaker.

Lloyd Russell-Moyle (Brighton Kemptown) appeared to try to hold on to Speaker John Bercow at the point he was requested to lead MPs to the Lords, with doorkeepers intervening.

"Parliament will be prorogued at close of business today", a spokesman for Prime minister Boris Johnson said, using the parliamentary term for the suspension.

But the Speaker is not neutral as between Parliament and the executive. His hilarious interventions have made the last three years not only bearable but frankly enjoyable.

Ahead of the vote, Johnson had said, "No matter how many devices this Parliament invents to tie my hands, I will strive to get an agreement in the national interest".

Now Bercow, MP for Buckingham, has said that he will not stand in a forthcoming election - news that has been greeted with cheers from Conservative Party MPs who accused him in recent weeks of trying to facilitate "Remainers" in their efforts to thwart a "no-deal" Brexit.

Earlier, opposition lawmakers said they would not support the Prime Minister's bid for early elections on October 15, stressing the need to enforce the new law that would prevent Britain from leaving the European Union without an agreement.

In response, the speaker said: "I don't care if you don't like it".

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