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Buckingham's MP to step down as Commons Speaker

Buckingham's MP to step down as Commons Speaker

Published by Charlotte Fisher at 3:50pm 9th September 2019. (Updated at 4:15pm 9th September 2019)

Buckingham's MP has announced he will stand down as Commons Speaker.

John Bercow will step down on 31st October if an election has not been called by then.

On the verge of tears, the Buckingham MP said he had been the "backbenchers' backstop" during his ten years in the top job.

He added serving had been "the greatest honour of my professional life".

Mr Bercow said he was planning to stay in post until Brexit day at the latest because it was the "least disruptive" timetable.

Thanking MPs - mostly from the opposition benches - as they rose to applaud his speech, he told them:

"You really are a very, very generous bunch."

This morning we reported that the Tories will put a candidate forward for Buckingham in the next election.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn thanked Mr Bercow for his "superb" record, adding:

"Our democracy is the stronger for your being the speaker."

"As somebody who aspires to hold executive office, I like the idea of a powerful parliament holding the executive to account.

"It's something I've spent the last 35 years doing myself."

Mr Bercow promised to only serve for nine years when he was first elected in 2009 as speaker - a job that puts him in charge of presiding over Commons proceedings, including which amendments to draft laws are voted on.

He was first elected as a Conservative MP in 1997, but stopped representing the party to fill the role which must be held by someone impartial.

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