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  1. ITV Report

Sir Lindsay Hoyle re-elected as Speaker of the House of Commons - but who is he?

Sir Lindsay Hoyle was dragged to the Speaker's Chair after being re-elected as Speaker of the House of Commons. Credit: PA

Sir Lindsay Hoyle has been reelected as Speaker of the House of Commons, telling MPs his "office is open to all".

The Chorley MP was returned to the post unopposed at the start of the new Parliament.

He replaced John Bercow as Speaker in November, serving two days in the post before a general election was called.

The Speaker election marks the first day of the new Parliament, which welcomes 140 new MPs to the chamber.

Making his pitch to return to the post, Sir Lindsay said: "It's been an absolute privilege to serve as deputy speaker for the last nine years and as Speaker for a full two days."

He added: "It will be an honour to serve again in this Parliament but hopefully this time for a little longer."

Sir Lindsay said the Speaker must be "trusted", adding: "I've a proven track record of being impartial, independent and fair.

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"Allowing members to exercise their right to speak regardless of the length of service."

Sir Lindsay joked he would have expected more cheers from newer MPs at this point.

He also said he understood how important it is for backbench MPs to hold the Government to account and promote causes dear to them.

Sir Lindsay concluded: "On that basis, I submit myself to the House as your Speaker and your champion, and ensuring my office is open to all."

Standing, Sir Lindsay thanked his constituents, welcomed new members to the House and congratulated Sir Peter Bottomley on his new role as Father of the House.

In line with tradition he was then dragged from his seat on the Labour backbenches to the Speaker's Chair.

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  • Who is Sir Lindsay Hoyle?

MPs and fans of Parliament TV will have a new voice to get used to after Sir Lindsay Hoyle was reelected the new Speaker of the House of Commons.

With his lulling Lancastrian tones, the Labour MP’s appointment will mean a more regional English accent being heard guiding proceedings, rather than his predecessor John Bercow’s southern bark.

His easy-on-the-ear Northern twang does not mean Sir Lindsay is a stranger to tackling the boisterousness of those on the green benches.

First elected MP for Chorley in 1997, he has been Mr Bercow’s most senior deputy – known by the formal title chairman of ways and means – since 2010, when post-expenses scandal reforms saw the role elected by MPs rather than appointed by the Leader of the Commons.

The Bolton Wanderers FC fan saw his public profile rise after his handling of a spiky Budget speech in 2013.

MPs were particularly riled that year after the main policy announcements appeared in the London Evening Standard newspaper before the then-chancellor George Osborne stood up at the despatch box.

Rebuking one unruly parliamentarian, he bellowed: “The panto season is not for another nine months.”

He also scolded the SNP for singing Ode To Joy, the European Union’s anthem, during the vote to trigger Article 50.

Sir Lindsay, 62, became favourite for the role of Commons referee when Mr Bercow announced he was stepping down after 10 years in the chair.

Following the terror attack on Parliament in March 2017, and the killing of PC Keith Palmer, MPs were privately full of praise for Sir Lindsay – at the time still nine months away from being included in the 2018 Honours List for services to political and public life – for the resonant chord he struck.

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“We’re in a village and our village policeman has been murdered and all of our thoughts are with the family and the other innocent victims,” he told BBC News on his way in to work the next day.

“But of course the House must continue – we will not give in to terrorism and today we’ll continue.”

He was in the Commons chair at the time of the atrocity, and presided over the lockdown in Parliament.

Born in Adlington in Lancashire, where he still lives, he was elected for Labour to Chorley Borough Council, where he became deputy leader and mayor during his near two-decade tenure.

Selected for the Chorley constituency, he won back the seat for the party after it had been in Tory hands for 18 years.

A former member of the trade committee and the European scrutiny committee, he clashed with three-time general election winner Tony Blair over issues such as Gibraltar and tuition fees, and sought a career on the backbenches in the aftermath.

The son of MP Doug Hoyle, his cricket-addict father gave him his unconventional name after being particularly impressed with the showing of an Australian batsman during the Ashes tour of 1948.

The now Lord Hoyle – made a life peer after standing down in the same year his son was elected to the Commons – was so taken by Lindsay Hassett, a middle-order batsman and vice-captain of an Aussie team that was undefeated in all 34 matches it played in England that summer, that he bestowed on his offspring the same name.

There was heartbreak for the twice-married politician and his family when his daughter, Natalie Lewis-Hoyle, 28, was found dead in her bedroom just before Christmas 2017.

Sir Lindsay said he was “truly devastated” at her death.

During the campaign to be the 158th Speaker, Sir Lindsay said Parliament had a drinks and drugs problem, and said MPs were telling him they can no longer stand for re-election as their family has to come first.