John Bercow has announced he will stand down as Commons Speaker on October 31 at the latest. Mr Bercow, who has been the speaker for 10 years, said it had been the “greatest honour and privilege” to serve. He said he would stand down at the next election or by October 31, whichever comes first.
He said if there was no early election, leaving on October 31 – the current Brexit deadline – would be the “least disruptive and most democratic” exit.
Mr Bercow was first elected House of Commons Speaker more than 10 years ago, on June 22, 2009.
He said during his speech in Parliament on Monday: “In 2017 I promised wife and children it’d be my last. This is a pledge that I intend to keep.
READ MORE: Bercow receives gushing tribute from Corbyn for Brexit role
“If the House votes for an early election my tenure will end, if the House doesn’t I have concluded that the least disruptive course of action would be for me to stand down for close of business on October 31.”
“Least disruptive because that date will fall shortly after the votes on the Queen’s Speech on the 21st and 22nd of October.”
The Commons Speaker has recently faced stark criticism from Brexiteers questioning his impartiality.
Mr Bercow was facing a the unconventional challenge from the Conservatives in his Buckingham constituency at the next election.
READ MORE: John Bercow QUITS: Speaker announces plans to resign
Who will be the next Speaker of the House?
With just seven weeks until October 31, MPs will not have long to elect a new Speaker of the House of Commons.
Sir Lindsay Hoyle, MP for Chorley, is the bookies favourite to replace outgoing John Bercow as Speaker of the House of Commons.
He said earlier this year: “When the Speaker decides to go, I may well enter that race. But I’ll certainly wait for the starting gun first.”
The veteran Labour MP has represented Chorley since 1997, and has served as Deputy Speaker since 2010.
According to bookies Coral, Sir Linda is currently odds on to be the next House of Commons Speaker.
Mr Hoyle is priced at 4/5, followed by Harriet Harman at 4/1, Rosie Winterton at 8/1 and Chris Bryant at 9/1.
Coral spokesman Harry Aitkenhead said: “There hasn’t been a quiet day in British politics for years now and John Bercow stepping down adds another issue to resolve.
“We make his deputy Sir Lindsay Hoyle the clear favourite to replace him, and he is odds on.”
Who is Lindsay Hoyle?
Sir Lindsay Hoyle, 62, has served as the MP for Chorley since 1997 and is a member of the Labour party.
He was elected as Chairman of Ways and Means and Deputy Speaker of the House of Commons in a secret ballot on June 8, 2010.
Mr Hoyle lives in Adlington and has been married twice.
He was previously married from 1974 to Lynda Anne Fowler before they divorced in 1982.
In June 1993, Mr Hoyle married Catherine Swindley, who succeeded him as the Labour Councillor for Adlington in May 1998.
He has also employed his wife as his part-time constituency secretary.
Hoyle’s elder daughter, Emma, used to work at his constituency office, in which capacity she represented him at Chorley Borough Council.
He also had a daughter with Conservative Maldon District Councillor Miriam Lewis, Natalie Lewis-Hoyle, who suddenly died in December 2017 at the age of 28.
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