Public Affairs

Speaker of the House of Commons: Lindsay Hoyle

Given the heightened profile brought to the role of Speaker of the House of Commons by Brexit and personality, agendaNi profiles the latest MP to take the seat.

Lindsay Hoyle fought December’s election as Speaker-elect and no longer for the Labour Party, retaining his place in the House of Commons comfortably with a 67 per cent share of the vote. Ironically for the Chorley MP, the scale of the Conservative majority may also bring him some comfort in his new post, particularly when compared to the finely balanced nature of the control of the house held by recent Prime Ministers, under his predecessor John Bercow.

In November, the former deputy speaker won out after four rounds of voting to pip Welsh MP Chris Bryant to the role of highest authority of the House of Commons. The secret ballot by which Hoyle was elected was only the second time the system has been used for the election of a Speaker.

An MP since 1997, Hoyle is steeped in politics, following on from his former MP father, who is now a Labour peer. He ran his own textile and screen printing business and originally served within his local council of Chorley. Hoyle was the youngest ever councillor for the area at the age of just 22, before being elected to Parliament and serving as deputy Speaker since 2010.

Words such as steely and street wise have been used to describe Hoyle, who has been known to be underestimated in his cheery appearance.

His profile is high, as a Labour MP he was Chairman of Ways and Means, the government body charged with reviewing and making recommendations for government budgets, while also finding ‘ways and means’ to raise revenue for government operations. In his role as deputy Speaker he was a point of contact for MPs around their personal security issues.

Hoyle, who was viewed as an opponent of Tony Blair, has refused to declare which way he voted in the Brexit referendum.

On election to the Speaker role, he vowed to be an “impartial”, “fair” and “independent” Chair.

“I intend to maintain public trust in this most vital of institutions,” he said.

“I believe that MPs provide an essential service and I will make sure they are properly supported in this challenging role. Equally, I will ensure that parliamentary debate is often robust but always respectful.

“Of course, the honour of becoming Speaker will never surpass the honour of representing the wonderful constituency of Chorley in the County Palatine of Lancashire, and my commitment to my constituents will not change.”

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