JOHN BERCOW has left “uncertainty” for the new Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle after months of controversy, according to senior think tank researcher Dr Alice Lilly.
Labour MP Sir Lindsay Hoyle became the new Speaker of Commons on Monday night. But Ms Lilly from Institute for Government believes there will be “uncertainty” for the new Speaker as John Bercow’s actions in the last few months haven’t matched up with the House of Commons’ rules. She added that people would disagree with Mr Bercow’s argument that his framework guided him into an interpretation of the rules.
Speaking to BBC News, Dr Lilly said: “There is now some uncertainty about how some of these specific procedures work.
“The precedent we’ve seen in recent months doesn’t necessarily match up with what’s actually set out in the Commons rules.
“It really will be up to the Speaker to clarify how they view these procedures.
“We’ve also seen all sorts of talk during this campaign about whether there is a need for a much bigger rethink of the Speaker’s approach to the Commons procedures.”
Dr Lilly continued: “I think John Bercow has always been very clear in the decade that he’s been Speaker that he viewed his role as championing the rights of Parliament and championing the rights of backbenchers.
“I think his argument would be that is the framework that has guided him in interpretation of the rules.
“Others, of course, would disagree.”
The expert added there has been a shift in Parliament.
She said: “Ever since late 19th century what we’ve seen is a bit of a shift. What we get is a move towards the Government being seen as the prime legislature.
“The assumption is they should control much of the business in the House of Commons.
“Actually in the last 20 years there’s been a bit of a different direction.
“People have asked, has it gone too far? Should Parliament and backbenchers have a little more say over its own agenda?”
Her comments come as Mr Bercow announced his intention to stand down from the influential position in September, saying the timing was the “least disruptive and most democratic course of action”.
The 56-year-old entered Parliament in 1997 and held several shadow ministerial positions before taking the Speaker’s chair on June 22, 2009.
Deputy Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle was strongly tipped to emerge victorious, with fellow Labour MP Harriet Harman – the current longest continuously serving female MP – also predicted to do well.
The other five candidates were Dame Rosie Winterton and Dame Eleanor Laing, who also both served as Mr Bercow’s deputies, Labour’s Meg Hillier and Chris Bryant (Rhondda), plus Conservative Sir Edward Leigh.