MP Shailesh Vara in bid to become next Speaker
MP Shailesh Vara has confirmed he will join the race to succeed John Bercow as Speaker of the House.
The MP for North West Cambridgeshire told the Peterborough Telegraph this evening (September 10) that he had thought carefully about the role in recent days and made up his mind to stand this afternoon.
He said: “The role of Speaker is vital to our democracy. There are many challenges ahead for Parliament and I believe I have the necessary experience to lead the way having served in a variety of roles including as a Minister, a government whip, a shadow minister and a backbencher.”
The current Speaker John Bercow has announced that he will step down at the next election, or on 31 October, whichever is sooner, triggering a race to replace him.
Mr Bercow, who has been the Speaker since 2009 and MP for Buckingham since 1997, has attracted global attention as he presides over heated debates and motions relating to Brexit. He has attracted great controversy and in recent months for Brexiters, he has been a source of frustration. He has also been praised for his handling of debates by many, including Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn.
The next Speaker will be elected by MPs by secret ballot once MPs are given a list of candidates with the vote likely to place during October.
If any candidate receives more than 50 per cent of the votes, the question is put to the House that he or she takes the chair as Speaker.
If no candidate gets 50 per cent, the candidate with the fewest votes, and those with less than five percent of the vote, are eliminated.
MPs then vote again on the reduced list of candidates and continue doing so until one candidate receives more than half the votes.