Lord Fowler elected to be next Lords Speaker
Former Conservative minister Lord Fowler has been chosen as the next Lords Speaker.
Lord Fowler won an election among his fellow peers to take over the post from crossbencher Baroness D’Souza in September.
Baroness Stowell and Baroness Smith, respectively the Leader and Shadow Leader of the House, praised Lord Fowler for winning the election and also paid tribute to Lord Cormack and Baroness Garden, who were the other candidates in the election.
Baroness Smith noted that Lord Fowler was breaking a glass ceiling of sorts.
“What we have seen today is a parliamentary first: this is the first time a man has been elected to the role of Lords Speaker and I think nowadays there are few positions in public life of which that could be said,” the Labour peer said.
As he addressed peers in the Lords chamber this afternoon, Lord Fowler said: “Of course, with the election over, the good news is that the bar on offering hospitality now comes to an end and we can buy drinks for colleagues. The bad news is that, inadvertently, today I seem to have mislaid my wallet.
“My whole purpose from now onwards is to serve all the members in every part of this House – in times which may be crucially important for the very future of the House of Lords. My aim, quite simply, is to be the loyal servant of this House and I thank you for this support.”
Baroness D’Souza, the second-ever Lords Speaker, said to Lord Fowler: “While I am somewhat sad to stand down, I do so in the sure knowledge that you will be a most distinguished Lords Speaker.”
The role was created in 2006 and the post holder is formal chair of debates in the House. The Lords Speaker is also expected to act as an ambassador for the House.