POLITICS
04/11/2019 10:09 GMT | Updated 04/11/2019 11:42 GMT

Who Could Replace John Bercow As The Commons Speaker?

Lindsay Hoyle and Harriet Harman are among the contenders to replace the Commons stalwart.

Commons Speaker John Bercow has stood down after 10 years in the chair.

The speaker is an MP who gives up party allegiance to act as the Commons’ presiding officer, overseeing the House’s order and procedure during debates and votes. 

Bercow was first elected in 2009 and was re-elected unopposed after the 2010, 2015 and 2017 general elections, Several MPs are in the running to replace him.

Here are the runners and riders. 

Harriet Harman 

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'Mother of the House' Harriet Harman 

Former deputy leader of the Labour Party Harriet Harman has not officially thrown her hat in the ring but is widely believed to be eyeing a run at the job. 

Dubbed the ‘Mother of the House’ by ex-PM Theresa May, the 69-year-old is the longest continuously-serving female MP and would not struggle to drum up the cross-party support needed to clinch the role. 

A long-standing champion of women’s rights, Harman has previously said she would end the use of terms such as “honourable lady”. 

Lindsay Hoyle 

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Deputy Commons speaker Lindsay Hoyle has said he plans to run for the role 

Bercow’s most senior deputy Lindsay Hoyle has already said he plans to run. 

Tweeting on Monday, the Chorley MP and odds-on favourite said Bercow had  “made many reforms” but he felt there was “much more work to be done”.

The Labour politician already presides over budget debates, has won plaudits for his “no-nonsense” approach and has spoken out about the abuse MPs receive. 

He added: “As deputy speaker I believe that I have proven myself to be independent and fair. I have ensured all members of parliament have been able to exercise their right to speak on behalf of constituents to hold the government to account - regardless of position or length of service.” 

Eleanor Laing 

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Dame Eleanor Laing announced she would run to replace Bercow earlier this year 

Dame Eleanor Laing – Bercow’s second most senior deputy speaker –announced she would run earlier this year.

She has previously called for more to be done to make the Commons more representative. 

Although popular among fellow Conservatives, she is not as well known as some of the other candidates and may struggle to win support from Labour and smaller parties. 

Chris Bryant 

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Labour MP Chris Bryant has signalled he will run 

Labour MP for Rhonda Chris Bryant signalled earlier this year that he would run. 

Having served as shadow leader of the Commons between 2015 and 2016 and as a junior shadow minister under Ed Miliband, Bryant is said to have some support among Tory MPs. 

Bryant is also among the favourites to take the job. 

He told the House magazine that MPs were “battered and bruised enough” in parliament, adding: “So, the first thing for me is I will do everything in my power not to belittle or diminish or lecture MPs from the chair, but, insofar as it is possible, to respect every single person.”

Meg Hillier

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Meg Hillier

Labour MP for Hackney South and Shoreditch, Meg Hillier has chaired the hugely influential and powerful Commons Public Accounts Committee since 2015. 

A former local newspaper journalist and councillor in Corbyn’s backyard of Islington, she went on to become one of the original members of the London Assembly. 

She has been an MP since 2005 and as a junior member of the Blair government was one of the first ministers to take maternity leave while working at the Home Office. Could gain cross-party support given her PAC experience. 

Charles Walker 

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Tory MP Charles Walker 

Conservative MP for Broxbourne and chairman of the procedure committee Charles Walker is the leading Conservative candidate. 

An ally of John Bercow’s and a vice chairman of the backbench 1922 committee of Conservative MPs, Walker could command cross-party backing with a good campaign. 

He won a standing ovation from Labour MPs in 2015 when he condemned his own party’s attempt to depose Bercow.  

Rosie Winterton 

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Dame Rosie Winterton was Labour's chief whip between 2010 and 2016

A well-known figure in Westminster, Labour’s Dame Rosie Winterton has served in a series of shadow ministerial posts and was chief whip between 2010 and 2016. 

The third-serving deputy speaker, she entered parliament in 1997 and is one of Labour’s appointees to the House of Commons Commission, which acts as the Commons’ governing board and is due to respond to the findings of Dame Laura Cox’s report on the bullying and harassment of staff. 

Edward Leigh

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Sir Edward Leigh, Conservative MP for Gainsborough arriving for a meeting being held at 10 Downing Street, central London.

The Brexiteer Conservative has said he will stand but it is unlikely he would garner a wide range of support. Leigh said he would be “very traditional” chair who “wouldn’t speak much” and has pledged to bring back wigs for formal occasions such as the state opening of parliament.