The favourite to replace John Bercow as Speaker is running on a pro-LGBT+ platform
The early favourite to replace John Bercow as Speaker of the House of Commons has been named as Lindsay Hoyle, a Labour MP believed to support Bercow’s legacy of LGBT+ rights.
Hoyle served as Bercow’s Deputy Speaker for nine years and is generally regarded as a popular figure in parliament. As bookmakers predict odds of 4/6 for him to become the next Speaker, he is positioning himself as a stable choice in “unprecedented times”.
When confirming he would be standing as candidate for the senior role, Hoyle nodded to Bercow’s pro-LGBT+ reputation and indicated that he intended to follow in his predecessor’s footsteps.
He wrote on Twitter: “I would like to thank Mr Speaker for his dedication and service to our country. He has made many reforms.
“He is a champion of LGBT and BAME rights and we now have a more diverse and representative House than ever before. However, there is much more work to be done.”
2. I would like to thank Mr Speaker for his dedication and service to our country. He has made many reforms. He is a champion of LGBT and BAME rights and we now have a more diverse and representative House than ever before. However, there is much more work to be done.
— Lindsay Hoyle (@LindsayHoyle_MP) September 9, 2019
“As Deputy Speaker I believe that I have proven myself to be independent and fair,” he continued. “I have ensured all members of parliament have been able to exercise their right to speak on behalf of constituents to hold the government to account.”
Buzzfeed News suggested Hoyle’s pitch appears to centre on three key ideas: “He is the stability candidate who won’t cause drama, he will continue the reforms Bercow made on LGBT+ and BAME rights and representation, and he is scrupulously impartial.”
Hoyle’s voting record on LGBT+ issues is mixed. In 1998 and 1999 he voted in favour of lowering the age of consent for homosexual sex, and in 2004 he voted in favour of civil partnerships. However, he has abstained from nearly every other vote relating to LGBT+ rights.
But analysis by The Public Whip (which takes into account the importance of voting activity relative to party policy) notes that Hoyle has voted strongly in line with “the gay vote,” awarding him a score of 87.9 percent.