UK lawmakers elect Lindsay Hoyle as new speaker | News | DW | 04.11.2019
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UK lawmakers elect Lindsay Hoyle as new speaker

Lindsay Hoyle has beaten Labour Party colleague Chris Bryant to become the new speaker of the House of Commons. Former Speaker John Bercow stepped down last month after 10 years on the job.

UK lawmakers have elected Lindsay Hoyle as the new speaker in the House of Commons, after former Speaker John Bercow stepped down in October.

The contest was between Hoyle and Chris Bryant, both of the Labour Party. Hoyle received 325 of 540 votes cast by lawmakers.

"I will be neutral. I will be transparent," said Hoyle after the vote. "This house will change, but it will change for the better." 

Read more: Opinion: John Bercow redefined the role of UK Parliament speaker

Before the vote, Hoyle had said, "My vision for our future is clear — we need an accountable speaker that is capable of bringing Parliament together on the day they take office." 

Hoyle has served as one of three deputy speakers at the House of Commons since 2010. He was first elected as a Labour lawmaker in 1997.

Will a new speaker affect the Brexit debate?

It shouldn't. The speaker's role is to keep control of debates between UK lawmakers in Parliament. It's the speaker's job to remain politically impartial at all times. However, he can have considerable sway over events in Parliament.

Watch video 02:05

Bercow steps down as speaker

Why did John Bercow step down?

Former Speaker John Bercow left his position on October 31 after 10 years in the job.

He made the announcement in September, saying that he planned to quit after October 31 — the date on which the UK was meant to have left the European Union, before it was postponed once again to early 2020.

Read more: Will the UK's snap election finally resolve Brexit?

He has been a controversial figure in UK politics, with some people viewing him as being on the "remain" side of the Brexit debate and breaking the rule of impartiality.

In the run-up to Monday's vote, Bryant said he would be "a speaker who is an umpire, not a player," in what appeared to be a reference to Bercow's presumed bias. 

kmm/aw (AP/AFP)

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