Gidley and Carmichael back Bercow for Speaker

by Stephen Tall on June 18, 2009

Two Lib Dem MPs have declared who they’re supporting in the forthcoming election for the next Speaker of the House of Commons. Sandra Gidley and Alistair Carmichael are co-signatories to a letter published in today’s Guardian extolling the virtues of Conservative MP John Bercow:

With the standing of parliament at an all time low, the next Speaker will take office in unprecedented circumstances (Speaker candidates call for end to prime minister’s questions, 16 June). Reform is desperately needed as the “old” way of doing things does not carry the confidence of those we serve – too many of our traditions, rules and practices hark back to an age that has passed. It is now time for members of parliament to find the courage to break with the establishment in their search for the next Speaker.

In coming together as a cross-party group of independently minded MPs, we recognise the need for the next Speaker to be a strong advocate for parliamentary reform and someone who will represent a clean break from the past. At the same time, we want a candidate with a track-record of political independence who has demonstrated an ability to work across party lines and has a reputation as an effective backbencher and parliamentarian.

We passionately believe that the House of Commons must be, and can be again, the cock-pit of our democracy. The challenge for parliament and for the next Speaker is immense but we believe that there is a candidate whose reforming zeal and energy makes him the obvious choice. That candidate is John Bercow.
Charles Walker (Con) Sandra Gidley (Lib Dem) Peter Kilfoyle (Lab) Adam Price (PC) Julie Morgan (Lab) Dai Davies (Ind) Alistair Carmichael (Lib Dem) Anne Begg (Lab) Richard Burden (Lab) Roberta Blackman-Woods (Lab)

If anyone knows which of the candidates other Lib Dem MPs are planning to support, do please use the comments thread to share…