British MPs choose new parliament speaker

London: British MPs have selected veteran Labour lawmaker Lindsay Hoyle to be parliament’s new speaker, replacing John Bercow in a role once little-noticed but now reshaped by the fractious turmoil over Brexit.
Hoyle, a Labour MP for 22 years and Bercow’s deputy since 2010, beat out six other contenders in a protracted day of voting in the House of Commons on Monday, winning the support of 325 of 540 members of parliament in a fourth and final round of votes.
Bercow, whose shouts of “Order! Order!” have rung out across the famous chamber since June 2009, stood down on Thursday, having enraged the ruling Conservatives with a series of decisions they saw as trying to stymie Brexit.
The 56-year-old vehemently denied ever taking sides in the parliamentary tumult over Britain’s stalled withdrawal from the European Union, but earned praise from pro-Europeans and a global following with his rulings and outsized personality.
Hoyle, the favourite to fill his shoes ahead of Monday’s vote, won the first three rounds of voting — knocking out political heavyweight Harriet Harman, the longest-serving female MP — but each time fell short of the required absolute majority.
But in a last round of voting which pitted him against fellow Labour MP Chris Bryant, he finally garnered 60 per cent of lawmakers’ votes.
“It’s about the challenges ahead for me and this chamber,” Hoyle told MPs after being dragged to the speaker’s elevated green chair, in keeping with parliamentary tradition.
“We’ve got to make sure that tarnish is polished away,” he added, in reference to recent rancour in the House of Commons largely over Brexit.
Welcoming him to the role, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: “Over the years I have observed that you have many good qualities.”
Johnson added Hoyle would bring his “signature kindness and reasonableness to our proceedings.” However, Hoyle will not have too long to get comfortable as parliament will be dissolved late on Tuesday for the December 12 election, after which he will return to sit in the speaker’s green chair.
The new speaker will now give up his party affiliation while rival parties are traditionally not expected to field a candidate to contest his seat in elections.

Oman Observer