Dear new Member,
Many congratulations and welcome to the House.
Please forgive me for this generic email being brief and to the point.
The first job of the House today is to appoint the Speaker. The Father of the House, Sir Peter Tapsell, will present a motion to the House that John Bercow remains as Speaker.
At this point, members will shout 'Aye', on this occasion there will also be members from all parties shouting 'No'. If enough members shout 'No', this will force a division and your first vote as new members will be to vote for or against appointing John Bercow as Speaker.
At this point, the green monitors will flash with the words 'Division' and the division bell will ring. This is a free vote and is entirely unwhipped and so whether to vote or not is wholly your decision. You will also have the option to abstain, and so you do not enter either of the voting lobbies.
Despite scare mongering by some left-wing commentators, there will be no repercussions according to which way you vote.
I am sure you are aware that during the previous Parliamentary term Mr Bercow was appointed as Speaker, with unanimous Labour and a handful of Conservative votes. In the words of a Labour whip, it was done to 'stick it to the Tories'.
That aside, there are a number of reasons why, since his appointment, Mr Bercow has proven unsuitable in the Speaker's role. Not least, on the occasions during the last session when Mr Bercow found remaining impartial, a crucial quality in the role of Speaker, very difficult, leading to a number of heated exchanges between the Speaker and Conservative MPs.
We are about to head into choppy political waters. It is imperative we have a Speaker who possesses dignity, gravitas, ability, wisdom and who can command respect from all sides of the House. A Speaker beyond reproach, who via his experience has earned the entitlement to such an important office.
There are a number of candidates from all sides imminently more suitable, able and willing; Edward Leigh, Sir Menzies Campbell, Alan Hazlehurst, and Margaret Beckett.
It is imperative that we are seen to begin this Parliament renewed and afresh. We can only do that with a democratic vote for the Speaker. If Mr Bercow wins the vote, he will have the endorsement of the whole House and not just the Labour party.
The Labour MP Kate Hoey, who is supporting the vote and I will be acting as tellers. If you come to the division lobby there will be members on the doors directing you to the lobby depending on which way you wish to vote. I am sure you understand the importance of this vote. I look forward to counting you out of the lobby during your first division.
With very best wishes,