Standing for Speaker

When a vacancy occurs I intend to stand for the office of Speaker. I would be a traditional speaker who does not speak much. Like a judge I would, by my conduct and dress, submerge my personality into the office. I would be rigidly impartial.

Having spent thirty-three years of my thirty-six years in Parliament on the backbenches my priority would be to maximise opportunities for backbenchers. I would prioritise serious debate. This may mean time limits of not less than five minutes in debates. Urgent questions should be held when needed: when there is something urgent and important to be discussed.

I oppose the unnecessary demolition of Richmond House and the creation of a replica chamber. When a decant becomes necessary, it should be as short as possible into a temporary chamber. We should be working much harder now instead of delaying as late as 2028.

I oppose any move against the present Speaker who must be allowed to retire at a time of his choosing. In order to protect the office of Speaker, this issue must not be politicised.