Veteran Labour Parliamentarian, Lindsay Hoyle was elected Speaker of the UK’s House of Commons on Monday and will take on the role of refereeing the next parliamentary installment of the country’s exit from the European Union. Hoyle, who had been Deputy Speaker since 2010, was elected by lawmakers after four rounds of voting via secret ballot.
He will take over from John Bercow, who was accused by some of breaking convention and favoring those who wanted to stop the government’s Brexit plans but feted by others who saw him as empowering parliament to challenge and scrutinize the executive.
“I will be neutral. I will be transparent,” 62-year-old Hoyle said after the result.
“This House will change but it will change for the better.”
Hoyle, a Labour MP for 22 years and Bercow’s Deputy since 2010, beat out six other contenders in a protracted day of voting in the House of Commons, winning the support of 325 of 540 members of parliament in a fourth and final round of votes.
He won the first three rounds of voting knocking out political heavyweight Harriet Harman, the longest-serving female MP but each time fell short of the required absolute majority.
But in a last round of voting which pitted him against fellow Labour MP Chris Bryant, he finally garnered 60 percent of lawmakers’ votes. Bryant, an openly gay former Church of England vicar, was a surprise finalist in the contest, winning 213 of the 540 votes in the last round.
Hoyle will not have too long to get comfortable as parliament will be dissolved late Tuesday for the December 12 election, after which he will return to sit in the speaker’s green chair.