Lindsay Hoyle appointed Speaker of the House of Commons

The Labor MEP succeeds John Bercow and will have the heavy burden of organizing the Brexit debates, the next deadline being 31 January.

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Lindsay Hoyle, officiating for the first time as Speaker of the House of Commons, Nov. 4.
Lindsay Hoyle, officiating for the first time as Speaker of the House of Commons, Nov. 4. PRU / AFP

John Bercow had a very large fan club, especially among the "remainers", supporters of the maintenance in the European Union. They may have a bit of trouble at first, after ten years of chairing such a colorful character, to adopt Lindsay Hoyle's unobtrusive and polite manners. For it is this 62-year-old Labor MP who should succeed him as Speaker of the House of Commons, provided he is re-elected in the December 12 general election. This should not be a problem: it is customary for no competitor to run against a speaker.

High favorite, Mr. Hoyle was designated Monday, November 4 in the fourth round of a secret ballot. He will become 158e "Speaker" of the oldest parliament in the world in activity, the first city in the annals being Pierre de Montfort, who held this office from 1258, in the first English Parliament (also called "Parliament of Oxford").

The Commons "will change, for the better"

Very moved, Mr. Hoyle paid tribute Monday night to his daughter Nathalie, who disappeared almost two years ago. He also promised to stay "Transparent" and "Neutral" to his new charge. The cities "Will change, for the better" he added, promising again that this House "Will be highly respected here and around the world". The elected Chorley (north-east of England) for more than twenty years will ensure that " tolerance " remains a strong value in an institution, venerable but deeply divided by the Brexit.

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With its "Order" sound, its bite, its ability to put the deputies back in their place, ministers like backbenchers (literally, "the elected bottom benches"), John Bercow did much for the notoriety of the British Parliament. He maintained the bar when it came to defending the prerogatives of elected officials, after the referendum of 2016. At the price of a rather creative reading of customs in the Commons: the brexiters did not hesitate to accuse him of partiality. "His willingness to be innovative in the interpretation of rules was crucial to avoiding a "no deal" October 31 "says Philip Hammond, Theresa May's former finance minister.

Nine years assistant to John Bercow

Mr. Hoyle has so far refused to reveal whether he voted Leave or Remain in 2016. The impeccable suit, the discreet tie, he was for nine years the deputy of the flamboyant Bercow without almost getting noticed, nor roaring for get silence. Is it for these qualities that he was elected, including by the Conservatives, while it is customary for the "speaker" to be from the dominant political party in the House of Commons? Boris Johnson hailed his "Kindness" and his character " reasonable ", while Jeremy Corbyn, the Labor leader, warned him that he would need "Eyes in the back" to succeed in his new position.

Mr. Hoyle does not lack any sense of humor or ambition. The day before his election, he granted a first long interview to Sunday Timesnot hesitating to discuss personal matters, including the loss of his daughter. He also posed with a real menagerie: a parrot, named Boris, whom he has already learned to shout "Order", a big turtle, Maggie, and two dogs, including a terrier, Bettie, named after the House's former speaker, Bettie Boothroyd, in the 1990s.

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