Lindsay Hoyle chosen to replace Bercow as UK Commons speaker

LONDON (AP) - Labor Lawmaker Lindsay Hoyle was elected president of the House of Commons of Great Britain on Monday and took office with a clear message: I'm not John Bercow. Hoyle was chosen by lawmakers from seven candidates to replace the influential but controversial Bercow. Bercow retired last week after a decade as a speaker who saw him become a central and controversial player in the British drama Brexit. Hoyle got 325 of the 540 votes in a second round with Labor colleague Chris Bryant after the field of seven forts was eliminated in three previous rounds of voting. After his election, Hoyle was dragged into the speaker's chair by colleagues with a show of reluctance, a tradition that dates back to the days when speakers could be put to death if they disliked the monarch. He promised to bring a change of tone and temperament to a political system that has been strained by Brexit. Hoyle promised to be neutral, transparent and restore Parliament's battered reputation. We have to make sure that the tarnish is removed, he added. This camera will change, but it will change for the better. Hoyle, 62, was elected member of Parliament in 1997, has served as one of three vice presidents since 2010 and is very popular and respected by his colleagues. Like Bercow, he will direct the daily affairs of the Commons, keeping lawmakers in line with the loud shouts of Order! But he is likely to take a more cautious approach than the one adopted by Bercow, who prided himself on making the government respond to Parliament and became a thorn in the side of the conservative administration. He is supposed to be an impartial arbitrator of Parliament's rules, but critics accused Bercow of favoring anti-Brexit politicians at the expense of those who support Britain's departure from the European Union. While Parliament struggled furiously for months over Britain's planned exit from the European Union, Bercow became a worldwide celebrity with its striking ties, shouting Or-defeat! and reprimands of sharp language to noisy legislators fleeing from a sedentary position. Bercow denied Brexit's bias, but faced the government and strongly opposed Prime Minister Boris Johnson's attempt to suspend Parliament for five weeks as the Brexit deadline of October 31 approached. The Supreme Court of the United Kingdom revoked Johnson's closure. Bercow also interpreted Parliament's rules so that legislators can lead the government's hand at key moments. One of those measures forced Prime Minister Boris Johnson to ask the EU to delay Brexit until January 31, the current deadline. The new speaker is ready to monitor more months of debate and high-risk votes on Brexit. I think we need a period of calm and reflection, said conservative lawmaker Charles Walker, who backed Hoyle. Four of the speaker candidates were women: Eleanor Laing, Rosie Winterton, Harriet Harman and Meg Hillier, but the winner was a man, like all but one of her 157 predecessors. Betty Boothroyd, who served from 1992 to 2000, remains the only speaker in the history of the House of Commons of the United Kingdom. The election of a new speaker comes a day before Parliament dissolves for a national election on December 12 in which the 650 seats in the House of Commons are at stake. Johnson conservatives hope to win a majority that can unlock Britain's political stalemate and let Johnson keep his promise to get Britain out of the EU. The opposition center-left Labor Party is trying to shift the focus of the Brexit campaign to internal political issues such as schools, medical care and social inequalities in Britain. Liberal centrist Democrats, who want to cancel Brexit, and the single-issue Brexit Party, which favors an exit without agreement from the bloc, are fighting for British voters with strong opinions on whether the United Kingdom should leave the EU of 28 nations . ___ Follow full Brexit AP coverage and British policy at This story has not been edited by The Times of India and is automatically generated from a syndicated feed to which we subscribe. (This story has not been edited by and is automatically generated from a syndicated feed to which we subscribe.)