On Monday, the British House of Commons elected Lindsay Hoyle as successor to departing President John Bercow, who held the important parliamentary function for more than a decade.
Hoyle (62) is a member of the Labor Party for the Chorley district. He was previously chairman of the Ways and Means committee and one of the three vice-presidents of the Lower House under Bercow.
The House of Commons chairman monitors order in the British House of Representatives, ensures that parliamentary procedures are followed correctly and determines the order of speakers during debates. He or she also decides which modification proposals may be submitted on government plans and which questions the opposition may ask.
Bercow enjoyed worldwide fame
Separating Chairman John Bercow gained worldwide fame as the parliamentary arbitrator of the Brexit process. The Conservative has occupied its post since 2009. In the three years since the UK chose to leave the EU, the political stalemates that followed that decision made Bercow more influential than many lower house presidents in the past.
Some MPs (Members of Parliament) accused Bercow of breaking through parliamentary traditions by giving room to opponents of the government’s Brexit plans. Others were grateful to him for the opportunity he offered to critically examine government plans.
Seven candidates applied to succeed Bercow. They each needed the support of 12 MPs to participate in the voting process. After they were given each speaking time in the Lower House to motivate their candidatures, a number of secret rounds of voting followed.
When the first round did not yield a winner with more than half of the votes, the candidate with the least votes and candidates who did not win 5 percent of the total number of votes dropped out. In the end, four rounds of voting were needed until Hoyle received a majority of the votes.
The new House chairman will have to wait a while before it becomes clear what his role will be. If the early elections held on Thursday, December 12, yield a cabinet that can boast of a majority in the Lower House, Hoyle will probably have less influence than its predecessor. As a government party, the Conservatives have had no majority since 2017.
Bercow (56) – the usual parliamentary admonition “Order!” made his cry by saying it with force fourteen thousand times – said he was leaving politics. He has no clear plans yet, but wants to write and act as a speaker, he said in an interview with the BBC.