Shailesh Vara: John Bercow's successor 'will speak a lot less'

Friday, November 1, 2019

Shailesh Vara has insisted that the next Commons Speaker will "speak a lot less" than John Bercow, who stepped down from the role yesterday.

The Conservative MP - who is one of nine vying to take on the role - accused the former Speaker of putting himself "at the centre of the political arena".

"Really, the job of the Speaker is to ensure the other 649 MPs are the ones who have the opportunities to speak and put forward the views and aspirations of their constituents," Mr Vara told talkRADIO's Julia Hartley-Brewer.

"I think all of us [Speaker candidates] have publicly said we would certainly speak a lot less."

A vote on Mr Bercow's successor will take place on November 4.

Mr Vara said it was important that the next Speaker restored "trust and confidence" in the role, amid a row over Mr Bercow's impartiality.

"There has been a dark cloud over the Speaker at the moment in terms of whether there has been partiality or impartiality. What I'd want to do is make it absolutely clear for the future that everyone knows what the Speaker can and cannot do, and that means rewriting the rule book."

The North West Cambridgeshire MP said the "tone" of the Speaker must also change.

He added: "What is really required is a more courteous and respectful attitude towards MPs, and that's particularly relevant given the divisive nature of politics for the past three-and-a-half years."

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