On 15 October 2019, all nine original candidates to be the new Speaker of the House of Commons participated in a hustings event in Westminster, hosted jointly by the Hansard Society and The House magazine, and chaired by the BBC’s Carolyn Quinn.
The event was attended by a large number of MPs, who had the opportunity to put questions to the candidates seeking their support, as well as by parliamentary and MPs’ staff, and journalists. Each candidate made an opening statement about their approach to, and priorities for, the role, before taking questions.
The hustings was held three weeks before the House was to decide on the successor to John Bercow, who was stepping down after over a decade in the chair.
The 2019 event continued the Hansard Society’s involvement in Speaker hustings, after the Society hosted the first-ever public Commons Speaker hustings in 2009, and then did the same for the Speakership of the House of Lords in 2016.
In 2019, the nine candidates running for the Commons Speakership at the time of the hustings, and who took part in the event, were:
- Sir Henry Bellingham;
- Chris Bryant;
- Harriet Harman;
- Meg Hillier;
- Sir Lindsay Hoyle;
- Dame Eleanor Laing;
- Sir Edward Leigh;
- Shailesh Vara; and
- Dame Rosie Winterton.
Sir Henry Bellingham and Shailesh Vara withdrew from the race before the House voted on 4 November.
The hustings were recorded and broadcast by BBC Parliament.
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