John Bercow delivered a Speaker’s Statement this afternoon in which he announced that he would resign from his role on October 31st, giving this parliament an opportunity to select the next Speaker of the Commons.
Bercow told MPs: “At the 2017 election, I promised my wife and children that it would be my last. This is a pledge that I intend to keep. If the House votes tonight for an early general election, my tenure as Speaker and MP will end when this parliament ends.
“If the House does not so vote, I have concluded that the last disruptive and most democratic course of action would be for me to stand down at the close of business on Thursday October 31st.
“Least disruptive because that date will fall shortly after the votes on the Queen’s Speech expected on 21st and 22nd October. The week or so after that may be quite lively and it would be best to have an experienced figure in the chair for that short period.
“Most democratic because it will mean that a ballot is held when all members have some knowledge of the candidates. This is far preferable to a contest at the beginning of a parliament when new MPs will not be similarly informed and may find themselves vulnerable to undue institutional influence.