Speaker of the House of Commons John Bercow retires next week after ten years in the job. Nine MPs want to succeed him:
The victorious candidate will assume one of the grandest and most important jobs in politics — a position so ancient that it makes the prime ministership, dating from the 18th century, look like a recent development.
Thomas Hungerford was the first to hold the speaker’s title, in 1377, although presiding officers were identified as far back as 1258, when Peter de Montfort is thought to have fulfilled that role in the so-called Mad Parliament held at Oxford that year.
The favorite [to succeed Bercow] seems to be Lindsay Hoyle, a deputy speaker and Labour lawmaker from northern England, who refused to say how he voted in the 2016 Brexit referendum. Mr. Hoyle promised to be neutral and fair, and to hold the executive to account. “I want to make this place happy,” he added, setting himself arguably a harder task.
Another prominent candidate is Harriet Harman, a Labour lawmaker who is the body’s longest-serving woman, who said she would be the “champion of Parliament.”
The House votes on November 4th. My money's on Hoyle, having seen him in the chair during Bercow's absences, though I fear he won't have the backbone Bercow has shown recently.
Today, for example, Bercow spent over an hour fending off enraged accusations of bias from Government MPs, to whom he pointed out the numerous times they've actually liked his rulings. Whoever succeeds him will not have an easy time of it.