The next Speaker

I don’t really want to get drawn into the whole debate about whether the Speaker should stay or go. I suspect the motives of some, ‘though not all of those who are calling for his resignation but I accept that there are concerns on a number of fronts. But, I will say one thing. When Speaker Martin steps down, whether it happens sooner or later, there is one thing above all that will decide my vote.
I don’t want the next Speaker to be someone who sees his/ her role as ‘protecting the traditions of the House’. I want the Speaker to be a moderniser, someone who recognises that Parliament needs to change: to become more effective, more influential, more accountable. For that reason, of all the names in the frame at the moment, I’m likely to back John Bercow (incidentally, the only Tory who voted in favour of the Equality Bill on Monday) if a vacancy comes up. I’m sure Sir George Young and Sir Menzies Campbell are both decent men, but they’re old school and old school’s the last thing we need at the moment.
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