Plaid Cymru will rip up convention and challenge Labour's Chris Bryant if he becomes Commons Speaker

Posted On: 
21st October 2019

Plaid Cyrmu have vowed to ignore a Commons convention and try to unseat Labour MP Chris Bryant if he becomes the next Speaker.

Chris Bryant has vowed to be an "umpire, not a player" if selected to be Speaker
Credit: 
The House Magazine

Leanne Wood, the Welsh party's former leader, said Plaid would flout the Westminster protocol that means the main parties do not contest the Speaker's seat in an election if Rhondda MP Mr Bryant is selected for the role.

Plaid said the constituency needed a "dedicated" MP to tackle "serious" social issues.

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The Labour MP is one of nine candidates vying to replace current Speaker John Bercow when he steps down from the role at the end of this month.

But a spokesperson for the Rhondda Plaid party said the constituency could not afford to be represented by an MP "more concerned with pomp than poverty".

"If Chris Bryant is elected as Speaker in the House of Commons, Plaid Cymru will not be following the convention that speakers are elected unopposed," they said in a statement.

"The Rhondda is not Buckingham; the constituency of the current speak John Bercow. The Rhondda has some serious social issues that need sorting out and need the attention of a dedicated, full-time MP.

"The Rhondda can ill-afford to be represented by a Parliamentarian more concerned with pomp than poverty."

The Plaid statement added: "The people of the Rhondda should not be denied a say on who represents them at Westminster while so many levers of powers are retained by the UK Government.

"The Rhondda deserves to choose who their next MPs is; Plaid Cymru will ensure that there is a choice at the next General Election if Chris Bryant is elected as Speaker in the House of Commons."

Fellow Labour MP Harriet Harman, one of the frontrunners in the race to replace Mr Bercow, has also faced opposition to her bid to become Speaker, after activists within her local party expressed "disquiet" over the decision.

Their comments come after the Tories vowed to ignore the convention and challenge Mr Bercow if he failed to resign from the role ahead of the next election.

The election to succeed Mr Bercow is set to take place on 4 November, with the current Speaker taking the chair for the last time on 31 October.