Friday 20 September 2019 1:37 pm

Harriet Harman won't 'back down' in bid to replace Speaker John Bercow

Labour MP Harriet Harman has refused to “back down” in her bid to become the next House of Commons speaker after her constituency party spoke out against her running for the post.

The Camberwell and Peckham constituency party voiced “disquiet” after she threw her hat in the ring to succeed John Bercow, who has said he will stand down by 31 October.

Read more: DEBATE: Has John Bercow done more harm than good as Speaker?

Harman reportedly did not consult the party before deciding to join the race.


Now, local Labour party members said they could field a rival candidate to oppose her at the next election if she succeeds in becoming Speaker.

Harman would become only the second ever woman to hold the office of Speaker. 

She wants to modernise parliament and make it more family-friendly.

Today she tweeted that she “will not back down” from the Speaker race, with an election due on 4 November.

“The overwhelming majority of members of Camberwell & Peckham Labour Party understand the importance of a strong & fair Speaker & support me in this bid,” she added.

Camberwell and Peckham Labour Party secretary Dave Lewis told Sky News the party was “expressing disquiet about Harriet’s decision to stand for the Speaker role and asking her to reconsider”.

Harman may have to quit Labour to take the neutral office of Speaker.


Camberwell and Peckham Labour Party secretary Dave Lewis said: “It was expressing disquiet about Harriet’s decision to stand for the Speaker role and asking her to reconsider.”

Mr Lewis said the concern was she would have to resign from Labour in order to be impartial in the House of Commons.

Read more: Bercow vows to get creative to stop Johnson dodging Brexit delay

“I’ll always be there for the people of Camberwell & Peckham as I have throughout the last 37 years,” Harman said.

“I have pledged that my commitment to them will be unshakable if I become Speaker.”
She added: “I will not back down! #SpeakHer

Main image credit: Getty

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