September 09, 2019
Commons Speaker John Bercow has announced that he will stand down on October 31. 
Who Could Replace John Bercow As Speaker? Here Are The Runners And Riders
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, but after more than ten years in the job has said he wants to spend more time with family. 
The news will spark a contest to replace him with several MPs reported to be interested. 
Here are the runners and riders. 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 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 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 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.”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 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. The outsiders ... Alistair Carmichael: The Lib Dem MP for Orkney and Shetland is well-liked across the Commons but it is unclear whether he wants the job or if Jo Swinson could accept losing one of her most experienced MPs. 
Pete Wishart: The SNP MP has confirmed he is interested in being “the first post-war Speaker from beyond the two main parties”, but it is unlikely the pro-Scottish independence politician will get backing from the pro-Union Labour or Conservative Party. 
Edward Leigh: 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. Related... Commons Speaker John Bercow Announces He Will Quit Brexit Battle Begins As John Bercow Gives MPs Chance To Block No-Deal John Bercow In Secret Talks With Rebels Over Move To Stop No-Deal Brexit
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