John Bercow elected Speaker of the House of Commons

June 22, 2009 at 7:33 pm Leave a comment

bercow

by Tony Grew

Buckingham MP John Bercow has been elected Speaker of the House of Commons on the third ballot.

He defeated fellow Conservative Sir George Young by 322 to 271.

After the second round Margaret Beckett, Sir Alan Beith and Sir Alan Haselhurst withdrew from the contest. Ann Widdecombe was eliminated.

MPs gathered in the Commons at 2.30pm to hear speeches from the ten candidates for Speaker. Candidates had to be nominated by 12 MPs, three of them from a different political party.

In the first round Parmjit Dhanda, Sir Patrick Cormack, Sir Michael Lord and Richard Shepherd were eliminated.

594 MPs voted in the first round, 599 in the second round and 593 in the third round. MP John Mann spoiled his ballot in the first two rounds.

The Prime Minister will now write a letter to the Queen announcing the election of a new Speaker.

Her Majesty will indicate her approval of the appointment and sign a writ authorising the Lords Commissioners to appear in the Lords and announce her approbation. The announcement is expected around 10pm.

Speaker-elect Bercow, in keeping with tradition, was dragged to the Speaker’s chair – the holder of the office is expected to give a show of resisting the appointment.

At 46, Mr Bercow is one of the youngest Speakers in modern times – on taking office Michael Martin was 55, Betty Boothroyd and Bernard Weatherill were both 63 and George Thomas and John Selwyn Lloyd were 67.

Mr Bercow is the first Jewish Speaker.

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