Wellingborough's MP Peter Bone announces bid to be the next Deputy Speaker
Peter Bone, MP for Wellingborough, announced this morning (Thursday) that he is standing to be the next Deputy Speaker in the House of Commons.
Mr Bone made the announcement on Twitter by sharing a letter he has sent to MPs which states he is standing for office.
He says he wants to restore trust in Parliament because he believes the institution's reputation was damaged by the actions of the last Speaker, John Bercow.
In the letter, Mr Bone said: "I have decided to run for the Office of Deputy Speaker primarily because I want to support our excellent new Speaker, Sir Lyndsey Hoyle, as he starts restoring faith in the House of Commons."
Mr Bone was re-elected as Wellingborough's MP in last week's general election and increased his majority to 18,540.
He said constituents should not be concerned by his decision to stand because it will not interfere with his work in Wellingborough.
Mr Bone said: "As far as constituents are concerned, it doesn't affect my constituency work at all.
"If I get elected I will still have weekly surgeries and my office in Wellingborough. It's only my work in Parliament that will change."
If elected Deputy Speaker, Mr Bone will have to remain politically impartial but he can continue to raise constituency matters. Unlike the Speaker, who has to resign from their party, Mr Bone can remain a Conservative MP.
When asked if remaining impartial would be a challenge, particularly for a vocal supporter of Brexit when the matter is yet to be resolved, Mr Bone said: "No, no, I have chaired many Brexit Bills. I have proved I can be impartial."
Mr Bone believes the Commons needs to restore public trust because of the actions of the previous Speaker and told the Northants Telegraph: "That's the whole point about the reason I wanted to run, as I said in my letter, the Speaker John Bercow, the ex-Speaker, stopped being the referee and started playing for one of the sides and the result of that was Parliament was damaged."
Mr Bone wrote in his letter: "Over the last few months, the reputation of Parliament has been severely called into question. The decision by the previous Speaker, John Bercow, to not only bend the rules of our unwritten constitution, but to actually break them, caused great damage.
"The person who should have been a neutral arbiter of our proceedings became, instead, a player for one side of a political argument."
Mr Bone said he had been to thousands households when he was campaigning for the recent election and the message from constituents was that "Parliament is a joke".
He said Parliament had been looked up to around the world but this had been compromised.
Mr Bone said: "I feel there's a role to be played in restoring that faith."
Wellingborough's MP also feels he is suited to the role because of his experience on the Speaker's panel, a role that requires him to chair debates in Westminster Hall, Bill Committees, and delegated legislation.
Mr Bone has previously chaired the whole house when it sat in committee, which he described as an "honour".
He added: "Any of you who have sat in debates that I have chaired will know that I have been unscrupulously fair and that no-one in those debates would have known my views on the issue being discussed."
Mr Bone said he has no idea if he will succeed and be elected Deputy Speaker and that he is not sure who will be running against him.
There are three deputy roles to be elected. Two will be from the government benches with the third from the opposition.
The election is expected to be held in January.