Shropshire Star

MPs re-elect Sir Lindsay Hoyle as Commons Speaker

The event marks the start of the new Parliament.

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Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle

Sir Lindsay Hoyle has been re-elected as Commons Speaker, telling MPs he would continue to be “fair, impartial and independent”.

The Chorley MP was returned to the post unopposed at the start of the new Parliament.

Sir Lindsay Hoyle speaking to MPs
Sir Lindsay Hoyle speaks to MPs as he accepts the role of Speaker (House of Commons/UK Parliament/PA)

He has served as Speaker since November 2019 when he replaced John Bercow shortly before the 2019 general election.

The Speaker election marks the first day of the new Parliament, which welcomes 335 new MPs to the chamber.

Sir Lindsay said it was an “honour” to serve his constituents in Chorley and he also remembered his father Doug, who died in April.

He told the Commons: “It’s been an absolute privilege to serve this House as the 158th speaker. I’ve got to say that four and a half years have flown.

“With the authority of the chair comes great responsibility, which is something that I’ve never taken lightly or for granted.

“I know from experience that decisions have consequences, but with experience comes wisdom and if re-elected I will be guided by that as I continue to be fair, impartial and independent.”

Sir Lindsay faced pressure earlier this year to step down as Speaker over his handling of a vote on a ceasefire in Gaza.

But despite a no-confidence motion attracting support among Conservative and SNP MPs, Sir Lindsay was able to continue in the role.

His speech on Tuesday was littered with light-hearted moments and reflections as he referred to the “Rees-Mogg conga”, in a nod to the queuing system set up for votes by former Tory Commons leader Sir Jacob Rees-Mogg during the pandemic.

He added: “It was of course an honour to represent this House at the lying in state of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth, to present the address to the new King in Westminster Hall, to attend his coronation.

“Needless to say in this role you need staying power.

“I’ve already been the speaker during the tenure of three prime ministers, two monarchs and one Jim Shannon.”

Labour MP Cat Smith (Lancaster and Wyre) proposed Sir Lindsay to the role and said he would be a Speaker “who champions the voices of his backbenchers”.

She said: “Our speaker is fair, impartial, and independent. Newly-elected members will find a great friend in our speaker, I know I have.”

Ms Smith added: “So despite being annoyingly right about many things – which is a good Lancashire trait by the way – he will ensure that your door is open to all members at times of need, and I can vouch that he does a good brew, Yorkshire tea though.”

After MPs approved the motion to elect Sir Lindsay, he was dragged to the Speaker’s chair by Ms Smith and Tory former minister Sir David Davis.

Prime Minister Sir Keir Starmer said: “Mr Speaker-elect you preside over a new Parliament, the most diverse Parliament by race and gender this country has ever seen.

“And I’m proud of the part that my party has played, proud of the part that every party has played in that.

“Including, in this intake, the largest cohort of LGBT+ MPs of any parliament in the world.

“And given all that diversity, Mr Speaker-elect, I hope you will not begrudge me for a slight departure from convention to also pay tribute to the new Mother of the House, Diane Abbott who has done so much in her career over so many years to fight for a parliament that truly represents modern Britain. We welcome her back to her place.”

Rishi Sunak, in his first speech as Opposition leader, also offered his congratulations to Ms Abbott and described her as a “trailblazer”.

The Conservative Party leader added on Sir Lindsay: “The last few years in this House have been, at times, difficult and you have always brought this House together.”

He added: “It is a privilege to be in this House, our democracy is powerful and, as we have witnessed, it can be definitive.

“But I know that this House will, true to its best traditions, hold the executive to account and I know that Mr Speaker-elect will facilitate that.”

SNP Westminster leader Stephen Flynn said: “I think it’s safe to say that me and you didn’t always see eye to eye during the course of the last parliament but in politics and in life, I think it’s important to let bygones be bygones and to focus on the future.”

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