Tuesday, December 08, 2015

Keith Vaz eyes the speaker's chair

"Keith Vaz has two ambitions. He is hoping that he will get a knighthood, and he would like to be the next speaker. 
"You can tell this by the way he is slavishly applauding the new Labour leader, Jeremy Corbyn, at Parliamentary Labour party meetings. He also seems to be tempering his criticism of the Tories."
So says an unnamed Labour MP in a new story on Exaro.

A similarly unnamed Conservative MP adds there:
"There is no question that Keith Vaz fancies the job of speaker as he is very ambitious. He is very well connected and very friendly with the current speaker."
The idea of Vaz as speaker comes straight from a Trollope novel, but this is not the first time it has been floated.

In December 2013 the Telegraph told us:
Keith Vaz, the chairman of the Home Affairs select committee, has emerged as a surprise contender to be the next Speaker of the House of Commons. MPs confirmed that the Labour MP's name has been doing the rounds as a possible replacement for John Bercow, who is due to stand down in the middle of the next Parliament.
We can only pray for the preservation of Lindsay Hoyle.

But be warned. The Commons can do strange things when it comes to choosing a speaker,

In 2000 the two front benches wanted Sir George Young to succeed Betty Boothroyd, but the swollen ranks of Labour backbenchers decided that a Labour house required a Labour speaker.

So Michael Martin was hoisted into the chair and sat there, red faced and scowling, until the expenses scandal meant his inadequacies could no longer be tolerated.

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