School of Politics and International Relations

Speaker of the House of Commons: What the Speaker actually does, how they’re elected and what power they have

9 September 2019

The Speaker of the House of Commons John Bercow has announced he is standing down on 31 October, the current deadline for Brexit, unless an election is called before that date. The Speaker is the chief officer and highest authority of the House of Commons and whoever holds the post must remain politically impartial at all times, according to Parliament’s website. At general elections, the main political parties tend not to challenge the Speaker. This originates from the presumption that since he or she is “above party in the Commons, then he or she should not fight on a party label at a general election,” Tim Bale, a Professor of Politics at Queen Mary University of London, previously told i.
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