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House of Commons Speaker John Bercow to resign

House of Commons Speaker John Bercow is to resign on 31 October or at the next election, whichever comes first.

Mr Bercow, speaking in Parliament, said his 10-year "tenure" was nearing its end and it had been the "greatest honour and privilege" to serve. He has said he will resign at the next election or on 31 October, saying this would be the "least disruptive and most democratic" exit.

It is understood Mr Bercow will also resign from his role as an MP for Buckingham. Mr Bercow has been the longest-serving Speaker since Edward FitzRoy between 1928 & 1943.

Tributes were paid to the outgoing Speaker in the House of Commons following the announcement on Monday. It is understood Mr Bercow's wife, Sally, was in the public gallery as he made his announcement.

Michael Gove said to Mr Bercow in the Commons, "Your love of democracy is transparent in everything you say and do". Prime Minister Boris Johnson was not present in the House of Commons during the announcement - earlier on Monday he met with Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar.

Opposition MPs applauded Mr Bercow's announcement, while only a few Conservative MPs applauded the announcement. Mr Bercow has had a pivotal role in the Brexit process and has often sided with backbenches. The role of the Commons Speaker has become of increasing importance in the last decade with there being small majorities and minority governments in the UK. Before 2010, coalitions or minority governments in the UK had been unusual.

Labour MP for Tottenham, David Lammy tweeted, "No one has stood up for Parliamentary sovereignty as effectively as John Bercow over the past few years. A true protector of our democracy, he will be sorely missed."

The tearful announcement came after the government confirmed that Parliament would be prorogued (suspended) from the end of business on Monday). It is expected that MPs will vote this evening on whether there will be an early general election. If they vote against the call for an election, one will not be held before the Brexit deadline on October 31, it is understood.

 

Photo Credit: UK Parliament [CC BY 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons - Original Source

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