House of Commons Speaker hustings 2019

15 Oct 2019
First sitting of the House of Commons after the State Opening of Parliament

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.

News / Democratic decision-making in health emergencies: Learning the lessons of the Covid pandemic - Parliament Matters podcast, Episode 37

This week we have a compelling conversation with human-rights barrister Adam Wagner as we delve into the findings of the Independent Commission on UK Public Health Emergency Powers. Just before the general election was called, the Commission published its final recommendations, aiming to reshape law-making in the event of a future health emergency in the UK.

31 May 2024
Read more

News / General election called: What now for Parliament? - Parliament Matters podcast, Episode 36

This week, we dive into the unexpected political shake-up in Westminster, where Rishi Sunak’s decision to call a general election has thrown Parliament into turmoil. The Prime Minister’s surprising move to hold the election in early July, rather than waiting until Autumn, has sent shockwaves through the political landscape.

24 May 2024
Read more

Briefings / General election rules and regulations: what has changed?

With a general election on the horizon there has been a spate of new legislation and regulations to implement changes to the way the election will be run, with consequences for voters and electoral administrators. Parliament has not always had a role in approving these changes. This briefing sets out the core changes to the electoral process that have been implemented since the last general election in 2019, the role that Parliament has played in scrutinising and approving them, and the risks arising from these changes.

26 Apr 2024
Read more

Support / 80th Anniversary Appeal: support our work to make Parliament more effective

Faith in parliamentary democracy is waning at a critical time as we confront domestic and international challenges that are as significant as any the country has faced since the Society was founded 80 years ago.

11 May 2024
Read more

News / Democracy is in danger, warns Theresa May - Parliament Matters podcast, Episode 35

In a powerful Churchill Attlee Lecture commemorating the Hansard Society's 80th anniversary, former Prime Minister Theresa May delivered a stark warning about the state of democracy. She expressed grave concerns about the waning trust in democratic institutions, particularly among young people.

17 May 2024
Read more