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Dublin: 15 °C Saturday 8 August, 2020

John Bercow to step down as House of Commons Speaker

Bercow said his job as speaker had been the greatest honour of his professional life.

SPEAKER OF THE UK House of Commons John Bercow has announced he will step down either ahead of an early general election or on 31 October.

“At the 2017 election I promised my wife and children that it would be my last. This is a pledge that I intend to keep. If the house votes tonight for an early general election my tenure as speaker and MP will end when this parliament ends,” Bercow told MPs today.

He said if parliament does not vote for an early election, he believes the “least disruptive and most democratic course of action” is for him to step down at close of business on 31 October, Britain’s Brexit deadline. 

“This is a wonderful place, filled overwhelmingly by people who are motivated by their notion of the national interest, by their perception of the public good and by their duty not as delegates but as representatives to do what they believe is right for our country,” he said.

We degrade this parliament at our peril. 

In an emotional address to parliament this afternoon, Bercow said serving as speaker for the last ten years had been “the greatest privilege and honour of my professional life”. 

“I wish my successor in the chair the very best fortune in standing up for the rights of honourable and right honorable members individually, and for parliament institutionally as the Speaker of the House of Commons.”


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