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King's Lynn MP bids to be next Commons Speaker

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North West Norfolk MP Sir Henry Bellingham has announced he will stand to be the next Speaker of the House of Commons.

The current Speaker, John Bercow, is set to leave the role at the end of October, having announced his decision to stand down on Monday.

And, despite paying tribute to Mr Bercow's record, Sir Henry, who is seen by some as an outsider for the role, says the Speaker should not "become the story."

Sir Henry Bellingham
Sir Henry Bellingham

He said: "I believe now is the time for a change in style and tone.

"My mantra will be modern approach underpinned by traditional values, but with courtesy and respect extended to everyone.

"We need a completely neutral Speaker who must be prepared to be firm but never rude.”

A number of MPs have already confirmed they intend to stand, including current deputy speakers Sir Lindsay Hoyle and Dame Eleanor Laing.

Labour's Harriet Harman and Chris Bryant, along with Tory backbencher Sir Edward Leigh and the Scottish National Party's Pete Wishart have also declared their interest.

But Sir Henry, who stood to be deputy speaker in 2013, said he hoped his record in Parliament would help his chances.

"This will obviously be a crowded field, but I am hopeful that my experience of 32 years in the House will stand me in good stead.”

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