West Norfolk MP withdraws from Commons Speaker contest
North West Norfolk MP Sir Henry Bellingham has this afternoon pulled out of the race to become the next Speaker of the House of Commons.
He was one of at least eight candidates in the running to replace John Bercow ahead of Monday's election.
But, a day after he was ordered to apologise for breaching Parliamentary rules, Sir Henry, a Conservative, has now withdrawn from the contest.
He said in a statement: “It is obvious to me that Parliament faces two major crises. Public confidence and trust in Parliament has never been so low and the whole bullying saga has done an equal amount of damage.
"In order to negotiate our way through these crises, and thus restore public trust, it is important we have a new Speaker who really can command support from all corners of the House.
"Although, I have received a very significant number of pledges from many in our own Party, I do believe there are others better placed than me to command that cross-party support.”