Speaker will leave office next month

May 19, 2009 at 2:04 pm Leave a comment

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The Speaker of the House of Commons has announced he is to step down on June 21st.

Michael Martin has been in the role since 2000. He is also to leave Parliament after 30 years.

He had faced a motion of no confidence signed by more than 20 MPs unhappy at his role in the row over MPs’ expenses.

Yesterday Mr Martin was castigated by MPs from all sides when he made a statement to the House about the issue, announcing a meeting with all party leaders.

It was expected he would make an annoucement about his future.

There will now be a by-election in Mr Martin’s Glasgow constituency.

At 2:30pm today he told MPs:

“Since I came to this House 30 years ago, I have always felt that the House is at its best when it is united.

“In order that unity can be maintained, I have decided that I will relinquish the office of Speaker on Sunday June 21.

“This will allow the House to proceed to elect a new Speaker on Monday June 22.

“That is all I have to say on this matter.”

The Speaker is an MP chosen by other members – candidates must be nominated by at least 12 MPs, at least three of whom must be of a different party from the candidate.

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