Thoughts on the speakership

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Just this, for now – we should all be careful, I think, in thinking that a change of Speaker will change much at Westminster.

Whilst the Speaker is nominally in charge of all House of Commons administrative affairs, in practice he or she has very little discretionary power.

Especially when it comes to “conditions” faced by MPs, honourable members have largely self regulating: Speakers tread very carefully indeed when it comes to acting in such areas, because disputes and contriversies in which the Speaker could embroil themselves would undermine their credibility as a Speaker of the whole House.

I’m not saying that there isn’t a great deal of worthwhile reform to be undertaken; just that a new Speaker isn’t, and won’t be, the person to do it.

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