Sir Lindsay Hoyle has thrown his hat into the ring to replace outgoing John Bercow as Speaker of the House of Commons.
The veteran Labour MP has represented Chorley since 1997, and has served as Deputy Speaker since 2010.
Sir Lindsay is now widely tipped as the favourite to replace Bercow, after he announced yesterday that he would stand down as Commons Speaker at next election or on 31 October - “whichever comes first”.
Mr Hoyle said: “Now that there is a vacancy for the Office of Speaker of the House of Commons, I am happy to confirm that I will be standing as a candidate.
“I would like to thank Mr Speaker for his dedication and service to our country. He has made many reforms. He is a champion of LGBT and BAME rights and we now have a more diverse and representative House than ever before. However, there is much more work to be done.
“As Members of Parliament we are clearly in unprecedented times and it will be vital to have an experienced Speaker who can provide the stability and leadership the House of Commons.
“As Deputy Speaker I believe that I have proven myself to be independent and fair. I have ensured all Members of Parliament have been able to exercise their right to speak on behalf of constituents to hold the government to account.”
The 62-year-old, who was born and raised in Adlington, is currently leading the pack of potential successors at 4/5 according to Oddschecker.com.
That puts him ahead of former acting Labour leader Harriet Harman, and his fellow Deputy Speaker, Tory MP Eleanor Laing.
Sir Lindsay has made no secret of his interest in the role. Last night he said
There have been rumours about the safety of John Bercow’s position as Speaker for months, after he promised to leave the post in the Summer of 2019, before changing his mind to stay on longer.
When he was elected in 2009, Bercow (left) - MP for Buckingham - had initially promised to leave by the Summer of 2018.
Mr Bercow said: “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.
“My tenure as Speaker and MP will end when this Parliament ends.”
“If the House does not so vote, I have concluded that the least disruptive and most democratic course of action would be for me to stand down at the close of business on Thursday October 31.”