Tuesday, 18 May 2010

Peerie Bercow and pencils sharpened for first day

WH1212 took the weekend off to recover from the campaign/debates/election/coalition/government rolling news continuum and comes back to a Commons transformed.

Today is day one of the age, I suspect, old age of politics and it kicks off with the election of the Speaker after lunch.

John "Peerie" Bercow should be a shoo-in for the job he held before the election, although the Tories hate him because, well because he won with the votes of Labour MPs who wanted to annoy the Tories in the first place (childish, I know).

There are rumblings of a Tory vote against him but if his nemesis Nadine Dorries makes a move it will only be for the self-publicity it may gather. In fact with Ms Dorries leading the charge Peerie looks more assured by the minute.

There are no signs of a Menzies Campbell campaign or a Kate Hoey bandwagon. There may be abstentions but there is no sign of an ambush.

The morning is spent with people eyeing strangers in the vast atrium of Portcullis House and trying to work out if they are the new breed of MP or just the latest batch of eager researchers.

As they take their seats we will begin to recognise them, I suppose. Before Bercow takes the chair the presiding officer will be the Father of the House (the MP with the longest unbroken service) who is the Louth & Horncastle MP Sir Peter Tapsell. (He's one of these who loathes the idea of Speaker Bercow btw)

The MPs will then be summoned to the House of Lords by Black Rod where, after a lot of cap doffing, they will be directed to elect a Speaker.

Returning to the Commons John Bercow will indicate to Sir Peter that he is willing to be chosen as Speaker. He will then be proposed and seconded. Sir Peter will then put the question to the House that he takes the chair.

If enough MPs shout No there will be a Division. If John Bercow wins he becomes Speaker and takes over presiding over the House from Sir Peter as Speaker-elect and adjourns it to the following day. If there is a majority against Speaker Bercow the House is adjourned to the following day.

Assuming John Bercow has been confirmed as Speaker the House next meets at 3pm on Wednesday.

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