View all newsletters
Sign up to our newsletters

Support 110 years of independent journalism.

  1. Politics
  2. UK Politics
22 February 2024

Will Lindsay Hoyle survive as Speaker?

After the chaos of the Gaza vote, the Speaker faces a plot by MPs to oust him.

By Freddie Hayward

A plot to get rid of the Speaker of the House of Commons, Lindsay Hoyle, is under way. A motion of no confidence in Hoyle has gained 59 signatures from both Conservative and SNP MPs who were furious after he allowed a vote on Labour’s amendment to the SNP’s Gaza ceasefire motion. Such was the outrage that Hoyle, a former Labour MP, was forced to return to the chamber to offer an apology to the SNP for spoiling their opposition day. He was clearly unnerved by the anger of MPs and realised the gravity of the situation.

The government’s support is key to Hoyle retaining his job. In the chamber earlier today, Penny Mordaunt, the Leader of the House of Commons, did not call for Hoyle to resign. Instead, she blamed yesterday’s parliamentary chaos on bullying by Keir Starmer and Labour, accusing them of undermining the reputation and honour of the decent man that sits in the Speaker’s chair”. This could allow Hoyle to survive.

Nonetheless, it seems unlikely that the government would fight hard to prevent Hoyle’s departure if a majority of MPs wanted him gone. Indeed, a government spokesperson said this was a matter for the Commons. The deciding factor, then, will be the extent to which MPs who want him gone can pile on the pressure, and, crucially, convince Labour MPs and senior figures in the House to join their campaign.

The manner in which Hoyle took over as Speaker from John Bercow in 2019 is also important. Bercow was deeply unpopular because he was widely thought to have let his ego and opposition to Brexit dictate how he managed parliamentary votes on the relationship with the EU. The expectation – and Hoyle’s promise to MPs – was that the Speaker would restore the chair’s reputation for impartiality. Hence the anger when he was perceived to renege on that yesterday.

Fifty-nine MPs calling for him to go is significant. One of Hoyle’s predecessors, Michael Martin, resigned in 2009 after 22 MPs demanded his resignation. One key difference between then and now was that Martin lost the confidence of some Labour MPs (despite, like Hoyle, being a former Labour MP himself) and he had been tarnished by his handling of the expenses scandal.

Select and enter your email address Your weekly guide to the best writing on ideas, politics, books and culture every Saturday. The best way to sign up for The Saturday Read is via saturdayread.substack.com The New Statesman's quick and essential guide to the news and politics of the day. The best way to sign up for Morning Call is via morningcall.substack.com Our Thursday ideas newsletter, delving into philosophy, criticism, and intellectual history. The best way to sign up for The Salvo is via thesalvo.substack.com Stay up to date with NS events, subscription offers & updates. Weekly analysis of the shift to a new economy from the New Statesman's Spotlight on Policy team. The best way to sign up for The Green Transition is via spotlightonpolicy.substack.com
  • Administration / Office
  • Arts and Culture
  • Board Member
  • Business / Corporate Services
  • Client / Customer Services
  • Communications
  • Construction, Works, Engineering
  • Education, Curriculum and Teaching
  • Environment, Conservation and NRM
  • Facility / Grounds Management and Maintenance
  • Finance Management
  • Health - Medical and Nursing Management
  • HR, Training and Organisational Development
  • Information and Communications Technology
  • Information Services, Statistics, Records, Archives
  • Infrastructure Management - Transport, Utilities
  • Legal Officers and Practitioners
  • Librarians and Library Management
  • Management
  • Marketing
  • OH&S, Risk Management
  • Operations Management
  • Planning, Policy, Strategy
  • Printing, Design, Publishing, Web
  • Projects, Programs and Advisors
  • Property, Assets and Fleet Management
  • Public Relations and Media
  • Purchasing and Procurement
  • Quality Management
  • Science and Technical Research and Development
  • Security and Law Enforcement
  • Service Delivery
  • Sport and Recreation
  • Travel, Accommodation, Tourism
  • Wellbeing, Community / Social Services
Visit our privacy Policy for more information about our services, how New Statesman Media Group may use, process and share your personal data, including information on your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications.
THANK YOU

If Hoyle is forced out, who would replace him? One unexpected candidate could be William Wragg. The 36-year-old Conservative parliamentarian has said he will stand down at the next general election. But he remains popular with MPs on both sides of the aisle and is well-respected for his knowledge of procedure and respect for parliamentary traditions. Oh, and the no-confidence motion is in his name.

[See also: The Cameron effect]

Content from our partners
Unlocking the potential of a national asset, St Pancras International
Time for Labour to turn the tide on children’s health
How can we deliver better rail journeys for customers?

Topics in this article :
Select and enter your email address Your weekly guide to the best writing on ideas, politics, books and culture every Saturday. The best way to sign up for The Saturday Read is via saturdayread.substack.com The New Statesman's quick and essential guide to the news and politics of the day. The best way to sign up for Morning Call is via morningcall.substack.com Our Thursday ideas newsletter, delving into philosophy, criticism, and intellectual history. The best way to sign up for The Salvo is via thesalvo.substack.com Stay up to date with NS events, subscription offers & updates. Weekly analysis of the shift to a new economy from the New Statesman's Spotlight on Policy team. The best way to sign up for The Green Transition is via spotlightonpolicy.substack.com
  • Administration / Office
  • Arts and Culture
  • Board Member
  • Business / Corporate Services
  • Client / Customer Services
  • Communications
  • Construction, Works, Engineering
  • Education, Curriculum and Teaching
  • Environment, Conservation and NRM
  • Facility / Grounds Management and Maintenance
  • Finance Management
  • Health - Medical and Nursing Management
  • HR, Training and Organisational Development
  • Information and Communications Technology
  • Information Services, Statistics, Records, Archives
  • Infrastructure Management - Transport, Utilities
  • Legal Officers and Practitioners
  • Librarians and Library Management
  • Management
  • Marketing
  • OH&S, Risk Management
  • Operations Management
  • Planning, Policy, Strategy
  • Printing, Design, Publishing, Web
  • Projects, Programs and Advisors
  • Property, Assets and Fleet Management
  • Public Relations and Media
  • Purchasing and Procurement
  • Quality Management
  • Science and Technical Research and Development
  • Security and Law Enforcement
  • Service Delivery
  • Sport and Recreation
  • Travel, Accommodation, Tourism
  • Wellbeing, Community / Social Services
Visit our privacy Policy for more information about our services, how New Statesman Media Group may use, process and share your personal data, including information on your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications.
THANK YOU