Doncaster MP Dame Rosie Winterton in running to replace House of Commons speaker John Bercow

Doncaster Central MP Dame Rosie Winterton is among the runners and riders hoping to replace John Bercow as Speaker of the House of Commons.

Tuesday, 10th September 2019, 3:02 pm
Updated Wednesday, 11th September 2019, 11:12 am

Dame Rosie, already a deputy speaker, is seen as a potential successor to Mr Bercow, who announced yesterday that he would be standing down on October 31 – Britain’s Brexit deadline.

Traditionally, parties take it in turns to elect a Speaker – so Dame Rosie, a Labour Party member, is among the contenders to replace Mr Bercow, a Conservative.

However, bookies have suggested the race could be a two horse contest between Harriet Harman and Lindsay Hoyle.

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Doncaster Central MP Dame Rosie Winterton.

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Mr Bercow announced he was standing down yesterday after more than a decade in the chair.

It means an election for the new Speaker is now likely to take place ahead of any General Election. Each candidate vying to replace Mr Bercow must submit their nominations of between 12 and 15 cross-party MPs by the morning of the election when scheduled by the Commons authorities.

Harriet Harman, the former deputy leader of the Labour Party and "Mother of the House" confirmed earlier today she will stand for the role and has vowed to continue Mr Bercow's tradition of standing up for Parliament against the executive.

Speaking to the BBC's Radio 4 Today programme, Ms Harman, who was a prominent Remain campaigner during the EU referendum, said Mr Bercow has been "right to say to ministers 'you have got to come to the House, you have got to account for yourself'".

Meanwhile, Sir Lindsay Hoyle has also announced he will run for the position. He has been Labour's MP for Chorley since 1997 and is an early frontrunner.

Dame Rosie, one of three of Mr Bercow's deputies is also said to be considering a bid for the speakership.

She has been Labour MP for Doncaster Central since 1997 and was the party's chief whip for six years until October 2016.

The Speaker presides over the House's debates, determining which members may speak.

The Speaker is also responsible for maintaining order during debate, and may punish members who break the rules of the House.

Unlike presiding officers of legislatures in many other countries, speakers remain strictly non-partisan and renounce all affiliation with their former political parties when taking office and afterwards.

The Speaker does not take part in debate or vote, except to break ties – with Dame Rosie also not participating in votes since becoming Deputy Speaker.