Lindsay Hoyle: I will ensure the House of Commons is fit for the 21st century.

Posted On: 
14th October 2019

Writing ahead of The House magazine's Speaker hustings, Sir Lindsay Hoyle says our "fractured Parliament" needs a Speaker who can unite MPs 

"We must embrace a much-needed change of culture here at Westminster," writes Sir Lindsay Hoyle
Credit: 
Louise Haywood-Schiefer / The House magazine

My vision for our future is clear – we need an accountable Speaker that is capable of bringing Parliament together on the day they take office. We are in the most turbulent of times and our fractured Parliament is hurting our democracy.

A Speaker who has cross party confidence will begin to unite the House.

As Deputy Speaker I’ve proven myself to be independent and fair – allowing Members to exercise their right to speak regardless of their length of service. I’ve maintained this approach when presiding over the Budget, PMQ’s and during the Brexit Bill.

The Speaker must be completely trusted and impartial. Other candidates may talk about that approach – you have seen me do it for the last nine years in the Chair.

Impartiality and fairness are essential characteristics of the next Speaker, but they must be combined with experience and an ability to deliver.

I have a genuine reach across the House. My relationships with all political parties have ensured they are given their right to hold the government to account.

Having served as a Labour backbench MP for 13 years with a majority government I understand how important it is for Backbenchers to hold the government to account.

Institutionally, if we are going to stay true to our democratic values and represent our constituents in a House of Commons that aligns with our modern society, we must embrace a much-needed change of culture here at Westminster.

This House is more than a place of work, it is a community and at the heart of our community must be respect. This means making Parliament a dignified place of work whilst placing the health and well-being of all who work here at the top of the agenda.

Health and Well Being

  • Secure the Parliamentary estate, constituency offices and homes in light of the emerging threats against our staff and family members
  • Respond to online activity of those who seek to undermine democracy and threaten our democratic work
  • Establish an onsite GP and provide vital mental health care services available for all staff to meet the growing needs of working in a high-pressure environment away from home
  • Ensure that funding is provided to meet security needs
  • Ensure Members have a fair and balanced relationship with IPSA

Power with Accountability

  • Review the commission and update its composition
  • Allow the commission and the Speaker to be held to account regularly, in a similar style to the Liaison Committee
  • Ensure we have clarity over disputed procedures which have been tested in recent times
  • Introduce maximum terms of office for the Speaker

Rights and Equalities

  • Full implementation of the Independent Complaints and Grievance Policy code of conduct for House and Members’ staff within six months with regular reviews on the progress made and effectiveness
  • Promote full recognition of all staff representative bodies across Parliament
  • Ensure all Members and staff undertake, as I have done, training on bullying and harassment

Parliamentary Outreach

If Parliament is to remain relevant to our constituents then it must reach out beyond the bubble, explore the socio-economic barriers which restrict engagement in deprived regions and communities to help answer the question ‘Why is Parliament relevant to me?’

  • Explore the development of a new outreach programme targeting disadvantaged groups and hard to reach communities across the whole country
  • Establish a network, using sporting, performing arts and community groups that can facilitate grass roots involvement and visits from the Speaker and senior Parliamentarians

If elected as Speaker I intend to oversee purposeful reform to ensure the House of Commons is fit for the 21st century. 

Sir Lindsay Hoyle is Labour MP for Chorley and Deputy Speaker