Archive for the ‘Speaker’ Category

The hypocrisy of Labour – smearing again

23 June 2009

Labour MP Salter, John Bercow’s campaign manager, called Bercow’s critics “intolerant” and “bigoted”. He claimed that Dorries’s assertion that Mr Bercow received only three Tory votes was “a lie and a smear”.

Asked about the Conservatives’ attitude to Bercow, Salter said: “I think they should grow up. The election of the Speaker is above party politics.

“It’s a shame that these people are so intolerant, so bigoted, that they cannot give the new Speaker at least a few weeks.

“There’s no way that this was organised by the front bench of either political party. No Speaker has achieved such wide support.”

He then went on to smear Dorries, saying that she has: “clearly got severe personal problems with John Bercow. She wrote a disgraceful attack on him in the Mail on Sunday of all places. She said that he’s unfit to serve as Speaker because his wife is a Labour voter.”

“I did the numbers and to get 321 votes we would have needed at least 15 to 20 Conservatives. So that is a lie and a smear, along with all the other lies and smears.”

It’s laughable that a Labour MP who accuses Dorries of a smear, then goes on to smear Dorries! The hypocrisy of Labour seems to know no bounds.

Grubby MPs do it again

23 June 2009

Just when you think you’re at a turning point in depressing times – that things can only get better – Labour MPs indulge in grubby politics and elect the most unsuitable of all candidates to be Speaker.

Did anyone notice that during Speaker Bercow’s acceptance speech in the Commons, he addressed mainly the Labour benches? He fawned. It was as though he were affirming some pact which he had made with them.

Tory MP Nadine Dorries accuses Labour of playing party politics with the vote and says it is “almost a two-fingered salute” to the public.

Not that Nadine’s star shines much. But she’s right.

Bercow is Speaker of the House

22 June 2009

The first Jewish Speaker in Parliament’s history.

From PoliticsHome:

Third ballot

John Bercow 322
Sir George Young 271

Second ballot

John Bercow 221
Sir George Young 174
Margaret Beckett 70 (withdrew)
Sir Alan Haselhurst 57 (withdrew)
Sir Alan Beith 46 (withdrew)
Ann Widdecombe 30 (eliminated)

First ballot:

John Bercow 179
Sir George Young 112
Margaret Beckett 74
Sir Alan Haselhurst 66
Sir Alan Beith 55
Ann Widdecombe 44
Parmjit Dhanda 26 (eliminated)
Richard Shepherd 15 (eliminated)
Sir Patrick Cormack 13 (eliminated)
Sir Michael Lord 9 (eliminated)

Did anyone notice how Bercow, in his acceptance speech, addressed mainly the Labour benches?

He has the responsibility of resurrecting Parliament to the respectable institution it once was. Let’s hope he succeeds.

Speaker – results of first voting tranche

22 June 2009

594 votes cast in total – one spoilt.

Bercow 179 30%
Young 112 19%
Beckett 74 12%
Hazelhurst 66 11%
Beith 55 9%
Widdecombe 44 7%
Dhanda 26 4%
Shepherd 15 3%
Cormack 13 2%
Danda 13 2%
Lord 9 2%

Candidates are deciding who is to drop out – those with less than 5% automatically drop out.

Voting for the resumes at 18:00.

The Speakership election schedule can be found here.

Updates:

19:08: Only Sir George Young and John Bercow in the race. Next voting round at about 19:25 and the final result probably out by 20:30.

Procedure for the election of Speaker tomorrow

21 June 2009

From PoliticsHome on 12th June:

9:30: Michael Martin is no longer Speaker of the House. The Chair is immediately assumed by the Father of the House, who is currently Alan Williams – the Labour Member for Swansea West since 1964.

09:30 to 10:30: There is a one hour window for nominations to be Speaker to be formally lodged with the clerks at the Table Office. Nominations must be in writing, and must consist of a signed statement of intent by the candidate, accompanied by not fewer than twelve and not more than fifteen signatures of other Members, of which at least three must be from a different party than their own. No Member can nominate more than one person.

11:00: Lists of the candidates are placed in the lobby and published.

14:30: The candidates are permitted each to address the House. The order of speaking will be decided by lot (arranged by the Father of the House). After all the candidates have spoken, proceedings will move directly to the first ballot. The presiding member (Alan Williams) will not be allowed to vote.

16:00: The first secret ballot takes place in the lobbies. Each member will be provided with a ballot paper with the list of candidates listed in alphabetical order. After half an hour the ballot shall be declared closed.

16:00-17:00: Counting takes place by the Clerk of the House, and as soon as possible the results of the first ballot are announced to the House.

If any candidate has received more than half the votes cast, the Presiding Member will put the question to the House that the member becomes the Speaker.

If no candidate has received more than half the votes cast, the candidate who received the fewest votes is removed, as well as any candidates who received less than 5% of the votes, and any candidates who have voluntarily withdrawn.

There is then a second ballot, and so on, until a candidate gets more than 50% of the House’s support.

Dragging to the Chair

Once a candidate is agreed, they will immediately become the Speaker-Elect, and will be conventionally dragged to the Chair by their supporters.

The appointment needs to be approved by the Monarch, through the commissioners in the Lords. If the Lords is still in business at the hour that a candidate is agreed on, he or she can be confirmed straight away, and can ascend the Chair as Speaker.

Who will win? My hope is for Sir George Young, but Ben Brogan favours Sir Patrick Cormack and the Labour whips are trying to whip up support for the discredited Margaret Beckett or John Bercow.

It would be ridiculous for MPs to vote for anyone implicated in the expenses scandal, but MPs haven’t shown great judgment so far.

My choice of Speaker: Sir George Young

20 June 2009


Sir George Young, Chairman of the HoC Standards and Privileges Committee, is fair-minded, has a steady hand and displays an even, polite temperament. He has gravitas, is an experienced parliamentarian, intimately acquainted with the workings and history of Parliament.

His manifesto pledges respect the institution of the HoC and he doesn’t threaten to throw the baby out with the bath water as a few of his trendy contenders intend to do. He doesn’t kowtow to the weather vane of public opinion although he takes it into account in his considered proposals.

In brief, his manifesto for Speakership:

  • PMQs moved to Thursday to give more time for parliamentary debate during the week.
  • Select Committee Chairmen to present reports to the House and to take questions and invite debate.
  • Permit backbenchers to chair Select Committees.
  • Speaker as catalyst to reform and management of the House, acting more as referee than player.
  • Act as ambassador for the House, hosting seminars on constitutional change, strengthening links with the Lords for a more holistic approach to government.
  • Formulate a procedure to get rid of an undesirable or unpopular Speaker.

Who is your choice of Speaker, and why?

Ridding the Commons of the Gorbals Mick

12 May 2009

Douglas Carswell‘s campaign to rid the Commons of Speaker Martin is gathering pace.

Peter Oborne and Quentin Lettswrote scathingly of Speaker Martin in the Mail. The Guardian, The Times and the Telegraph carry support articles and even the BBC appears sympathetic.

And now Nick Clegg has openly stated that Michael Martin “got it wrong”.

David Winnick requested in the Commons today that Martin apologise to Kate Hoey for his inappropriate remarks. Martin side-stepped the request, by saying this was yesterday’s news and that “we should move on”. What an underhand slime-ball.

Listen to Winnick’s and Martin’s exchange.

Only Cyclops McMental, he the man of spectacularly bad judgement, supports Martin.

Write to your MP and urge him/her to support Douglas Carswell’s motion of no confidence.