Speaker Lindsay Hoyle grants historic address to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy

Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy will address the House of Commons in a historic speech.

"Unprecedented" is an overused word in politics, but there's little doubt that the current Speaker of the House of Commons has presided over some truly unusual times.

The Chorley MP has been in the Chair to see MPs dialling in remotely because of Covid, has watched Westminster locked down due to a terror attack on its doorstep, and most recently, allowed this never-before-seen showing of support for Ukraine, as the country's Ambassador sat in the Commons gallery.

At 5 o'clock on Tuesday 8 March, he'll introduce yet another historic moment.

The Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy is set to address MPs via video link live from a war zone.

This is truly unprecedented in Westminster - the first time the President of another country has addressed the House of Commons in main Chamber.

Traditionally, world leaders such as Barack Obama or Angela Merkel have only delivered addresses to the Houses of Parliament from sites around the Parliamentary Estate, such as the bank of the River Thames, the Royal Gallery, or Westminster Hall - where Nelson Mandela gave his famous speech in 1996.

It's a hugely powerful moment symbolically - a clear sign of the alliance between Britain and the Ukrainian Government.

Speaker of the House of Commons Lindsay Hoyle has granted a historic address to Ukrainian President. Credit: PA Images

The Speaker, Sir Lindsay Hoyle, said he was pleased to grant the request to allow President Zelenskyy to read a statement.

The Lancashire MP added: "Every parliamentarian wants to hear directly from the president, who will be speaking to us live from Ukraine, so this is an important opportunity for the House,"

"Thanks again to our incredible staff for working at pace to make this historic address possible."

MPs will be able to watch the speech on large screens installed overnight, with more than 500 headsets available to allow Members to hear a translation of Mr Zelenskyy's words.

The Defence Secretary - and MP for Wyre and Preston North - said the country would be listening closely.

He expects the address to be "very powerful":