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Blackburn bishops hail new Commons Speaker

05 November 2019

PARLIAMENT/JESSICA TAYLOR/PA

Sir Lindsay Hoyle speaks in the House of Commons, after his election on Monday evening

Sir Lindsay Hoyle speaks in the House of Commons, after his election on Monday evening

THE bishops of the Blackburn diocese have expressed their delight that Sir Lindsay Hoyle, Labour MP for Chorley, has been voted the new Speaker of the House of Commons.

Sir Lindsay, whose constituency falls in the diocese, was chosen by MPs on Monday night to replace John Bercow, who had served as Speaker for more than ten years. In his acceptance speech, Sir Lindsay said: “We’ve got to make sure that tarnish is polished away, that the respect and tolerance that we expect from everyone who works in here will be shown and we’ll keep that in order.”

In a joint statement, the Bishop of Blackburn, the Rt Revd Julian Henderson; the Bishop of Burnley, the Rt Revd Philip North; and the Bishop of Lancaster, Dr Jill Duff, said that they were “delighted that ‘one of our own’ has been chosen by his peers. . .

“When the forthcoming General Election has taken place — and whatever the outcome is on 12 December — we will enter into a new phase of discussion and decision-making in relation to Brexit.

“Sir Lindsay, who is well-known for his calm and firm demeanour as Deputy Speaker, will have a crucial role to play in managing the debates that take place on that issue and the many other important issues of the day.

“The new Speaker has a warm and supportive relationship with churches across his constituency of Chorley. In taking on this responsibility we give him our assurance he will be supported by our prayers and the prayers of many across Lancashire.”

After the ballot, the new Speaker was dragged from the back benches to his chair, as is custom. He beat a fellow Labour MP Chris Bryant, a former priest, into second place, winning by 325 votes to 213.

Mr Bryant had earlier told MPs that he would “return to the rule book” and be an “umpire, not a player”.

Sir Lindsay is known for his work behind the scenes with staff in the Palace of Westminster. He said: “I hope people will recognise what I have done: I have stood up and made sure that we can feel safe. That job has started but it has not finished. . .

“I promise that I will continue to fight to make sure that we are safe, our families are safe, our staff are safe, and the House is safe. That is what matters.”

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