John Bercow re-elected as House of Commons Speaker
John Bercow has been re-elected as Speaker of the House of Commons.
Mr Bercow, who was a Tory MP before he was first elected Speaker in 2009, has survived a vote of MPs on his re-appointment to the powerful role overseeing the Commons.
The vote was overwhelmingly in favour, with no opposition to Mr Bercow.
The Speaker is bound to remain politically neutral – but is a strong and persistent voice for LGBT rights, hosting the PinkNews Awards in 2013 and 2014.
Mr Bercow attracted attention when he designed his own Coat of Arms upon his election in 2009 – featuring a Pride flag and pink triangles to represent LGBT rights – alongside the motto ‘ALL ARE EQUAL’.
He has consistently spoken out for LGBT rights in the Commonwealth and around the world – and is also President of the Kaleidoscope Trust, which seeks to uphold LGBT human rights abroad.
He said ahead of the Commonwealth Games: “Sadly, there might be world-class athletes who will not be able to compete in the Games, as they will have been discriminated against on the basis of their sexuality; shamefully, it is estimated that 4 out of every 5 countries in the Commonwealth criminalise homosexuality.
“Surely, it is time for the Commonwealth to do more to support lesbian, gay, transsexual and bisexual people, to ensure they are not discriminated against, no matter where they live?”
Prior to his appointment as Speaker, Mr Bercow was a consistent rebel within the Conservatives on gay rights issues – resigning from Iain Duncan Smith’s frontbench team in 2002 to vote in favour of gay adoption.
Mr Bercow is the MP for Buckingham.