09:59 GMT +314 November 2019
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    Lindsay Hoyle, who was elected Speaker on 4 November 2019

    UK Parliament Elects Sir Lindsay Hoyle as its New Speaker

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    Parliament is breaking up this week, with 50 MPs retiring or resigning and the remainder going off to campaign for next month’s General Election. When they come back John Bercow will no longer be in the Speaker’s chair.

    MPs have elected Sir Lindsay Hoyle to be the new Speaker of Parliament, replacing the eccentric John Bercow who was criticised by many for being an attention-seeker and for his perceived bias towards the Remainer cause.
    "I will be neutral. I will be transparent", Hoyle said after the result, adding that "this House will change but it will change for the better".

    ​Hoyle, who defeated six other candidates, was chosen on Monday, 4 November, after the third round in a secret ballot.

    Hoyle was up against Labour MPs Harriet Harman, Chris Bryant, Rosie Winterton, Meg Hillier and Tory MPs Dame Eleanor Laing and Sir Edward Leigh.

    Hillier and Leigh were knocked out in the first round. Roise Winterton failed to proceed further in the second. After Harriet Harman withdrew from the election, the UK lawmakers launched the third round of voting.

    The 62-year-old has been Labour MP for Chorley, near Manchester, since 1997 when he won the seat from a Conservative in Tony Blair’s first landslide election victory.

    He has a menagerie of pets named after politicians - a parrot called Boris (after Johnson), a tortoise called Maggie (Thatcher), a rottweiler called Gordon (Brown) and a terrier called Betty (after the legendary Speaker, Boothroyd).

    Normally a cheerful and avuncular figure Hoyle - who has chaired Budget days and other sessions - is still struggling with the grief of losing his daughter Natalie in tragic circumstances.

    Natalie, 28, hanged herself at her home in Essex in December 2017.

    Hoyle’s ex-wife Miriam Lewis, a Conservative councillor, told the inquest Natalie had been in a “toxic relationship” before her death but was “finally coming to terms with the fact that it wasn’t going to go anywhere.”

    In an interview with the Sunday Times on 3 November, Hoyle said: “It’s still difficult…I still can’t come to terms with it…It’s coming up to that anniversary, so it’s the hardest thing. It makes life very difficult.”

    The 11-metre effigy of Britain's Speaker of the House of Commons John Bercow holding Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn is seen after it was unveiled today ahead of the Edenbridge Bonfire Celebrations in Edenbridge, Britain October 30, 2019. REUTERS/Tom Nicholson NO RESALES. NO ARCHIVES
    © REUTERS / STRINGER
    The 11-metre effigy of Britain's Speaker of the House of Commons John Bercow holding Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn is seen after it was unveiled today ahead of the Edenbridge Bonfire Celebrations in Edenbridge, Britain October 30, 2019. REUTERS/Tom Nicholson NO RESALES. NO ARCHIVES

    Hoyle, whose rich Lancastrian accent and polite but firm style will be a stark contrast to Bercow’s patrician manner.

    Unlike Bercow, whose belligerent manner arguably raised the temperature in the chamber and wound up pro-Brexit MPs, Hoyle is promising to be a humorous and impartial referee.

    Using a footballing analogy, Hoyle told the Sunday Times: “People don’t want to remember a referee, they want to remember the game - and it’s about making sure that game flows.”

    Hoyle has also promised to introduce a doctor’s practice in Parliament to allow MPs to get medical and psychological help and has also said he is “open” to the idea of a nursing room for breastfeeding MPs.

    Bercow, known for his colourful ties and his flowery language, was elected as Conservative MP for Buckingham in 1997 and became Speaker in 2009. He retired last week and is already tipped for a career as an after-dinner speaker on the lucrative US circuit.

    Mr Bercow was praised for restoring honour in the job of Speaker after Michael Martin, a Scottish Labour MP who was seen as weak for failing to stand up to Tony Blair or Gordon Brown and for lacking integrity when it came to the MPs’ expenses scandal.

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    Lindsay Hoyle, Labour Party, speaker, John Bercow, MPs, Parliament
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