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September 9, 2019



 


John Bercow said he will stand down as Commons Speaker and MP at the next election or on 31 October, whichever comes first.



His speech:
  
Colleagues,
I would like to make a personal statement to the house.
At the 2017 election,i promised my wife and children,that it would be my last.
This is a pledge that i intend to keep.
If the House votes tonight, for an early general election, my tenure as speaker and MP will end when this parliament ends.
If the house does not so vote, i have concluded, that the least disruptive, and the most democratic course of action would be for me to stand down, at the close of business,on thursday,october the 31st.
Least disruptive ,because that date will fall  shortly after the votes on the Queen speech, expected on 21 and 22 October.
The week also after that, may be quitе lively, and it would be best, to have an experienced figure in the chair for that short period.
Most democratic ,because it will mean,that a ballot is held, when all members have some knowledge of the candidates.
This is far preferable to a contest at the beginning of a parliament, when new MP's will not be similarly informed and may find themselves vulnerable to undue institutional influence .
We would not want anyone to be whipped senseless,would we?
Throughout my time as speaker, i have sought to increase the relative authority of this legislature for which i will make absolutely no apology to anyone ,anywhere at any time.
To deploy a perhaps dangerous phrase, i have also sought to be the backbenchers backstop.
I could not do so without the support of a small, but superb team in speakers house,the wider house staff ,my Buckingham constituency and above all, my wife Sally and our 3 children - Oliver, Freddie and Jemima.
From the bottom of my hearth i thank them all profusely.
I could also not have served without the repeated support of this house and its members - past and present.
This is a wonderful place , filled overwhelmingly by people, who are motivated by their notion of the national interest , by their perception of the public good and by their duty , not as delegates but as representatives, to do what they believe is right for our country.
We degrade this parliament at our peril.
I have served as a member of parliament for 22 years and for the last 10 as speaker.
This has been the greatest privilege and honour of my professional life, for which i will be eternally gratefull.
I wish my successor in the chair ,the very best fortune in standing up for the rights of  honourable and righr honourable individually and for parliament, institutionally ,as the speaker, of The House of Commons .
Thank you!


JOHN BERCOW STANDS DOWN AS COMMONS SPEAKER

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