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Impartial Speaker?

(6 Posts)
Pantglas1 Tue 10-Sep-19 08:03:57

Lots of discussion on the impartiality of the role. Does the Speaker have to be impartial and if so, why?

MiniMoon Tue 10-Sep-19 10:49:50

Here is an outline of the role of Speaker of the House of Commons.
The Speaker of the House of Commons chairs debates in the Commons chamber. The holder of this office is an MP who has been elected to be Speaker by other Members of Parliament. During debates they keep order and call MPs to speak.

The Speaker is the chief officer and highest authority of the House of Commons and must remain politically impartial at all times.

The Speaker also represents the Commons to the monarch, the Lords and other authorities and chairs the House of Commons Commission. The current Speaker is John Bercow, MP for Buckingham.

Chairing debates in the House of Commons
The Speaker is perhaps best known as the person who keeps order and calls MPs to speak during Commons debates. The Speaker calls MPs in turn to give their opinion on an issue. MPs signal that they want to speak by standing up from their seat (a custom known as 'catching the Speaker's eye') or they can notify the Speaker in advance by writing.

The Speaker has full authority to make sure MPs follow the rules of the House during debates. This can include:

directing an MP to withdraw remarks if, for example, they use abusive language
suspending the sitting of the House due to serious disorder
suspending MPs who are deliberately disobedient - known as naming
asking MPs to be quiet so Members can be heard.

Pantglas1 Tue 10-Sep-19 12:03:32

Thank you MiniMoon. I’m still not sure how they can be impartial if they were previously an MP for any particular party, certainly left or right wing ones. Surely a LibDem candidate would be the way to go?

Dinahmo Tue 10-Sep-19 12:07:31

Pantglas1 Surely Bercow demonstrated his impartiality by not favouring Tory MP's?

Pantglas1 Tue 10-Sep-19 15:59:09

You’re right Dinahmo - I had to check as I hadn’t realised he was a Tory MP and was very right wing in his youth.

eazybee Tue 10-Sep-19 16:51:25

The phrase that is much used at this time is that 'the speaker is required to be impartial.'
I do not consider that Bercow has demonstrated this. He should certainly not voice his opinion about issues before they have been raised in Parliament and his judgement is required, or describe how he will tackle them: 'will prevent this with every bone in my body' (or words to that effect.)