Choosing a new Speaker.

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speakerschair.jpgThe ten candidates to take over from Michael Martin (Frank Field having dropped out) gave a hustings today attended by both MPs and the media, and the Guardian helpfully liveblogged it

The qualities of the individual will be more vital than ever, and an open hustings like this is a great symbolic and practical step in the right direction.

Who I'd like to see: Bercow, despite his hard-right past, failing which Widdecombe, despite her anti-feminist credentials.

Who I expect to see: Haslehurst. The sort of patrician stuffed-shirt most governments really prefer. Young is also a strong contender, I think, but could do a better job.

Worst choice: Beckett, with Beith a close second. Both are weak, partisan and unimpressive. Luckily, neither seem at all likely.

We need a vigorous reformer, a campaigner for openness, an independent-minded champion for the Chamber as a whole, and someone prepared to stand up to over-mighty governments and their devious ways. I have a suspicion we'll be disappointed.

(pic from the Westminster CC stream)

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This page was published on June 15, 2009 5:33 PM.

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