James Forsyth James Forsyth

The next Speaker must command cross-party support

Frank Field is right that the new Speaker must be able to “command support amongst all the parties here at Westminster, including their own.” Field, who would make a fine Speaker, is right that it would be inappropriate for him to run unless he can gain considerable Labour support over the next couple of days.

One hopes that John Bercow, whose Tory support is minimal, comes to the same, statesman-like conclusion.  If he gets the job thanks almost entirely to Labour voters he will be ineffective. As Field says:

“It is important that our election of Speaker is seen to be one that is not driven by party advantage. If that is how the public perceives it to be then the next Speaker will be broken-backed when it comes to helping rebuild the trust in our Parliamentary system.”

The election of a new Speaker is a chance for MPs to show the electorate that they get it, that they understand what needs to change. So far, the signs are not encouraging

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