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Long-serving Labour Party lawmaker Lindsay Hoyle was elected speaker of Britain's House of Commons on Monday, taking up the job with a clear message: I'm not John Bercow.
Hoyle was chosen by lawmakers from among seven candidates to replace the influential but contentious Bercow. Bercow retired last week after a decade as speaker that saw him become a central, and contentious, player in Britain's Brexit drama.
Hoyle took 325 of the 540 votes in a runoff with Labour colleague Chris Bryant after the seven-strong field was winnowed down in three previous voting rounds.
After his election, Hoyle was dragged to the speaker's chair by colleagues with a show of reluctance — a tradition dating back to the days when speakers could be sentenced to death if they displeased the monarch.
He vowed to bring a change of tone and temperament to a political system that has been strained by Brexit.
Hoyle promised to be "neutral," ''transparent" and restore Parliament's battered reputation.
"We've got to make sure that tarnish is polished away," he added.
"This House will change, but it will change for the better."
Hoyle, 62, was elected to Parliament in 1997, has served as one of the three deputy speakers since 2010 and is widely popular and respected by colleagues. Like Bercow, he will run the daily business of the Commons, keeping lawmakers in line with robust cries of "Order!"
But he is likely to adopt a more cautious approach than that taken by Bercow, who prided himself on making the government answer to Parliament and became a thorn in the side of the Conservative administration.
The speaker is supposed to be an impartial arbiter of Parliament's rules, but critics accused Bercow of favoring anti-Brexit politicians at the expense of those supporting Britain's departure from the European Union.
As Parliament wrangled angrily for months over Britain's planned departure from the European Union, Bercow became a celebrity around the world with his garish ties, bellowing calls of "Or-derrr!" and sharp-tongued rebukes to noisy lawmakers "chuntering from a sedentary position."
Bercow denied Brexit bias, but clashed with the government, and strongly opposed Prime Minister Boris Johnson's attempt to suspend Parliament for five weeks as an Oct. 31 Brexit deadline approached. The U.K. Supreme Court overturned Johnson's shutdown.
Bercow also interpreted Parliament's rules in ways that let lawmakers direct the government's hand at key moments. One such move forced Prime Minister Boris Johnson to ask the EU to delay Brexit until Jan. 31, the current deadline.
The new speaker is set to oversee months more of high-stakes debate and votes ovRead More – Source