Back to work MPs consider candidates for Speaker

June 1, 2009 at 11:50 am Leave a comment

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MPs return to work after the Whitsun recess today.

While the immediate political agenda will be dominated by the row over expenses and the European elections on Thursday, there will also be intense discussion about who should be the next Speaker.

In unprecedented scenes last month, Michael Martin announced he is to step down from the Speakership, a role he has held since 2000.

His position became untenable after a motion of no confidence was tabled against him and it became clear that a substantial number of MPs wanted him to go.

It was the first time in more than 300 years that a Speaker was forced from office and shattered the convention that MPs do not criticise the Speaker.

The method that will be used to elect Mr Martin’s successor is new.

It was created after the 2000 election, when the conflicting claims of more than a dozen candidates led to confusion.

The Exhaustive Ballot system will allow MPs to vote in secret for the first time.

On June 23rd, the day after Mr Martin leaves office, nominations will be handed to Commons authorities between 9:30am and 10:30am.

To be eligible, nominated MPs must have the backing of 12 MPs, three of whom must be from a different political party.

At 2:30pm, the candidates will address the Commons, then the voting begins.

If one candidate gains 50% or more of the votes in the secret ballot, they are the winner.

Otherwise the candidate with the least votes is eliminated and MPs will continue to vote until an outright winner is decided.

Boookmaker William Hill has John Bercow as favourite on 3/1 to become the next Speaker, Frank Field 4/1 second favourite and 6/1 George Young; 7/1 Alan Beith and 10/1 Ann Widdecombe.

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Entry filed under: Commons, Procedure. Tags: , , , , .

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