Gainsborough

Lincolnshire MP sets sights on Speaker role

Conservative MP for Gainsborough Sir Edward Leigh has thrown his hat into the ring as a future candidate for the role of Speaker in the House of Commons.

MP for Buckingham John Bercow has been the Speaker since 2009, but it was reported in October last year that he intended to step down in the summer of 2019.

However, it was also later suggested that Bercow planned to stay as Speaker until the end of parliament in 2022.

In a series of Tweets, Edward Leigh said he intends to stand for the office of Speaker when a vacancy occurs.

However, he will not force the move and said Bercow should be allowed to retire “at a time of his choosing”.

Leigh said: “I would be a traditional speaker who does not speak much. Like a judge I would, by my conduct and dress, submerge my personality into the office.

“I would prioritise serious debate. This may mean time limits of not less than five minutes in debates. Urgent questions should be held when needed: when there is something urgent and important to be discussed.

“I oppose the costly, unnecessary, and environmentally unsound demolition of Richmond House and the creation of a replica chamber. When a decant becomes necessary, it should be as short as possible into a temporary chamber.

“I would be rigidly impartial. I oppose any move against the present Speaker who must be allowed to retire at a time of his choosing. In order to protect the office of Speaker, this issue must not be politicised.”