Jo Swinson’s comments to the new Speaker

Jo Swinson said this as she congratulated Sir Lindsay Hoyle on his election as Speaker last night:

I thank the Father of the House for the way in which he conducted this election. Congratulations from the Liberal Democrat Benches on your new role, Mr Speaker-Elect. You have been clear that you want to be a strong champion for Back Benchers in this place, and have always conducted yourself with good humour and taken great care of Members in this place. The focus that you placed on the importance of health and wellbeing—particularly mental health—in your election campaign is very welcome indeed for those who work here, including Members and others in different roles.

Mr Speaker-Elect, you take the Chair at a time of great challenge for our democracy. The issues of security that you have championed as Deputy Speaker are more important than ever, with increasing threats. The focus on stamping out the unacceptable culture of bullying and harassment is hugely important. I hope you will also continue the work of modernisation of this place that we have seen in the past decade. I welcome your pledge on outreach to make sure that we reach out to disadvantaged groups. We should none of us be happy until this place properly represents the communities that we serve.

I wish you well in your new role. It is not one that will necessarily be a popularity contest where you will find yourself welcomed by everybody, but I may at least hope that you will frustrate the various parts of this House equally.

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2 Comments

  • Richard Underhill. 5th Nov '19 - 6:32pm

    Please do not think that changing the oath of allegiance in the Commons would encourage Sinn Fein to take up their seats.
    Gerry Adams told Betty Boothroyd that it would not.

  • Richard Underhill. 5th Nov '19 - 7:10pm

    The size of the majority of votes in this parliament provides insurance against a change in the next parliament.
    The issue of expanding the franchise may return. Most importantly votes at 16 and 17 are essential to strengthen our democracy and must be debated by our parliament. There is nothing wrong with being first. PM David Cameron set a precedent in agreeing an expansion of the electorate for the 2014 Scottish referendum.

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