POLITICS
15/04/2019 20:00 BST

Chris Bryant Promises Not To 'Belittle' MPs If Elected Commons Speaker

Labour MP says parliament needs a 'hug'.

PA Archive/PA Images

Labour MP Chris Bryant has promised not to “belittle, diminish or lecture MPs” if he becomes the next Speaker of the House of Commons.

The 57-year-old MP for Rhondda said a “bloodied and bruised” parliament needed a “hug”.

In an interview with The House magazine on Monday, Bryant confirmed he will throw his hat in the ring once John Bercow steps down.

It has been reported that Bercow, who will have been Speaker for ten years in June, is preparing to delay his resignation until after a Brexit deal is passed. 

Bercow is credited with pushing through a series of reforms to parliament, not least giving backbenchers more opportunities to grill ministers in the Commons.

However his tenure has also been hit by allegations of bullying in parliament and he has a fraught relationship with many Conservative MPs including ministers.

Other MPs tipped to make a bid to succeed Bercow include veteran Labour MP Harriet Harman and the sitting deputy Speaker Lindsay Hoyle

Writing in The Times on Monday, Conservativr MPs Nicky Morgan and Labour MP Gloria de Piero said the next Speaker had to be a woman.

“Many of us came in to parliament with equality for women being one of our goals. We can advance that cause by showing the outside world that our parliament is no longer the old boys’ network of the past,” they said.

In his interview, Bryant said: “I think we’ve all been a bit bloodied and bruised of late, and the next Speaker has got to be somebody who is going to tend to those wounds a bit more.

“This is a community of people. There’s a Welsh word, cwtch, which means hug. I just feel a bit as if – this is going to sound terrible pious – I just feel like it all needs a bit of a cwtch at the moment.”