Speaker candidates: Half the field now endorses mySociety’s principles

Thumbs up by Carf (cc)
‘Thumbs up’ by Carf (cc)

A few days ago mySociety asked the known possible candidates for Speaker to endorse 3 principles relating to making Parliament more transparent on the Internet.

We’ve now had endorsements which you can read on the individual pages of Sir George Young, Sir Menzies Campbell, Frank Field, Tony Wright and Sir Alan Beith , which until Parmijit Dhanda declared this morning, represented endorsement by 50% of the possible field. We also just recieved a typically frank and interrogative phonecall from Ann Widdecombe, who will be writing a formal response soon.

So, come on, John Bercow, Alan Haselhurst, Patrick Cormack, Sylvia Heal, and Chris Mullin. What’s holding up your replies? The days counter on your pages is telling the world how quick you are to respond…

Update: 11 June John Bercow has now endorsed, and we’ve written to Margaret Beckett and Parmjit Dhanda, who’ve just declared their candidacies.

Update 2: Chris Mullin has told us he is ‘not a candidate’.

Update 3: Sir Alan Haselhurst has also endorsed.

Update 4 – Speaker Election Day: And Sir Michael Lord endorses too.


  1. Anne Widdecombe and Patrick Cormack don’t have the big yellow box…

    Who has actually declared, as opposed to being rumoured to have declared?


  2. Please do not look at Menzies Campell or Ming the disaster, who reads and trembles as he reads his speeches, he has dipped into the trough along with Sir Alan Bleith, M Becket has the charisma of a dead frog,Sir George Young is a stiff still walking,stop these creeps getting in and carrying on with the “Rules” which has cost us and will continue to cost us millions.Look at the rats deserting the sinking ship of state and like Fred The Shred living in luxury on our money.Sick of the lot, make it instantly recallable and a one year term in office.

  3. Surely Margaret Beckett will be too busy tending her TAXPAYERS GARDEN. Ann Widdecombe has to be favoured against the rabble put up alongside her

  4. Frank Field is the only one who looks like he actually read, understood and gave more than a momentary thought about the three proposals.
    My money is on him.

  5. Ann Widdecombe is the one decent honest person featured here…and she’d keep them well in order!

  6. Ann Widdecombe, just like Betty Boothroyd, is a genuine candidate, not tarred with the same sordid brush as most of Brown’s cronies. She is not too popular with some in the Conservative party, which cannot be a bad thing, and is well above anyone the LDs could come up with.

  7. Sir Alan Hazelhurst is experienced, intelligent,fair & firm. He has been doing much of the job for some time now & keeps good order in the House.

  8. Ann Widdecombe would be an excellent speaker with integrity who would keep the house in order

  9. Ann Widdicombe please, and definatly not Tony Wright MP (who during a Commons debate on failures of care at Mid Staffs hospital, went back on his work to support his constituent). Not only did he renage on the initial promise but also went against what he had said in the debate….and instead of abstaining as he said he would voted with the Government. I’m afraid I would not give huim a second chance to make a first impression…he had his chance and blew it! At least with Ann Widdicombe, you know that she wont take prisoners and what she says is usually what she means.

  10. Ann Widdicombe please, and definatly not Tony Wright MP (who during a Commons debate on failures of care at Mid Staffs hospital, went back on his word to support his constituent). Not only did he renage on the initial promise but also went against what he had said in the debate….and instead of abstaining as he said he would voted with the Government. I’m afraid I would not give huim a second chance to make a first impression…he had his chance and blew it! At least with Ann Widdicombe, you know that she wont take prisoners and what she says is usually what she means.

  11. Clive Caulfield

    Living abroad I feel that we now need a strong and reliable parliament and government. It is time that our representatives stopped running UK down and concentrated on the positives. Only Ann Widdicombe has the ability to create some sort of control.

  12. I am still for Ann Widecombe although I think Frank Field is another name you can’t help but trust.

  13. Am sory John Hutton is leaving. He would have made an excellent speaker. So i vote for AnneWidecombe.She has the courage to speak her mind and is reasonably impartial.

  14. Robert Egolligos

    The “seat” lies between Bercow and Widecombe. Either of them would suit me fine for “Speaker”

  15. Robert Egolligos

    For Frank Field to be “speaker” would be a loss not only to his Constituents but also to Parliament. Frank has a wonderful way with asking questions and also requiring written answers.

  16. It has to be Widdecombe as she’d be Fair…. obvious innit…. she’s also double dd by the way…. not a dromedary!

  17. David Fox
    These comments will make no difference to the final outcome, but just in case I suggest Frank Field by a big margin

  18. live Pritchard

    I do not see John Prescott’s name down as a candidate for the

    He is an obvious person to be a fair Candiadte
    indeed he out to be the next PM He woudl get the labour party
    out of the mess they are in

    failing him Ann Widdicombe is the obvious choice
    She loves cats


  19. I wwould definitely favour Ann Widdecombe. She is forthright and honest and fears no man. She has the aura of Betty Boothroyd who was a Speaker par excellence. My second choice, if it came to that, would be Frank Field, because I feel he is a very compassionate man and very fair but I wonder whether he would be too “gentle”. Both of them are, I feel, able to put themselves above “politics”.

  20. I agree with all the people above who want Anne Widdecome to become the next Speaker.I have watched her over the years,she is always honest,not frightened to do the job that has been given to her ,she is just like Betty Boothroyd and I believe that she will be able to control the meetings and the members,which has not happened since Betty left

  21. I was thinking that Anne Widdecombe would be the best choice as the next speaker, until I heard her mention that the next speaker should be someone who had the vulgarity to be able to relate to and speak to the public. Now, is she saying that not only does she have the necessary vulgarity, but that she thinks the public are vulgar?

    Tsk tsk Ms Widdecombe! We may indeed be vulgar, but at least I can hold my head high and say that I’ve never fiddled my expenses!

  22. Alan R Haandley

    Ann Widdecombe certainly connects with the populous, as does Frank Field.
    They have both shown that rare attribute amongst politicians…INEGRITY.

    Tony Wright has shown wanting in that department.

  23. Michael McManus

    Sorry but Ann Widdecombe is not fit to be speaker, There is a very good reason why i say this, I fight for justice for abuse victims, Ann actively supports those who covered up the rare and abuse of children, No one has to believe me, Just Google this name and it will prove my point Cardinal Law, And look where he lives now the Vatican, If you were a victim of clerical abuse would you support her, The answer NO

  24. It’s Frank Field, by a wide margin, for me. The man floats above the day to day political fisticuffs and no-one knows the system better.

    Ann Widdicombe, maybe, but again when it comes to second jobs, has everyone forgotton about the books/novels she has written. In whose time was this done ? She’s not alone in this.

  25. Sheila Amies-Byron

    I wonder why Chris Mullin turned it down? At least he is a socialist – sadly lacking in this government. To have to listen to Ann Widdicombe’s voice would be a definite turn-off for me. She’s written novels? News to me I must say. Can’t think of anyone who is fit for the post. We need someone strong who can control the rabble and puts us, the public first.

  26. Your list does not include the best candidate in the field in my view – Richard Shepherd MP for Aldridge Brownhills in Staffordshire

    He has a long standing integrity as a campaigner for freedom of information and a defender of the citizen against the executive – Indeed on one occassion he brought forward a private members bill to replace the Official Secrets Act with more open and accountable legislation and his party issued a three line whip to defeat the bill. Although I strongly disagree with him on Europe and do not support his party I have always been inpressed when I have heard him speak. He is just the sort of person we need in the chair to sort out the House of Commons.

  27. Having heard Beckett and Dhandra being interviewed on Radio 5 by Victoria Darbyshire, I knew immediately why these two should definitely not be the next Speaker. And Beckett’s appearance on Question Time compounded my decision. I would like Ann Widdecombe as Speaker, and she says that she will stay until the next election. That will give time for Parliament to settle down and, if she does not wish to continue, she can then be elevated to the Lords for good reasons, and not for the wrong reasons for those who were shoved up there by Gordon Brown, because he couldn’t find anyone of substance amongst his MPs to help him stay in office. Another thing, these elevations and the Lord-doms should last only as long as the shover-up, such as Gordon Brown, is in control.

  28. It is a no brainer..Ann Widdicombe a real Lady who would clean up the House and ensure that Members respect same.

  29. For a country that often cries out against “the nanny state” it seems a lot of posters here want nothing more than a nanny.
    Supernanny is not standing and Widdecombe is not even offering to be in for the long haul.
    Stop looking for a surrogate nanny and consider the other candidates for speaker.

  30. this is not about next Speaker but I think you all should be aware of the real and more widly problem.
    I would very brifly look at the economic which our world should be more seriuce about it.
    Economy (worldly) which we all should be aware off

    I would very briefly look at the world economically point of view. The global out put rose by 5.2% in few years ago. Lending by the 3 most popular and big countries namely China (11.4%) India (8.5%) and Russia (7.4%).
    But of course there are other successor nations of the USSR and the other old Warsaw pact nations again experienced widely divergent growth rate; 3 Baltic nations continued as strong performers (8%-10% range of growth).
    Few years ago growth rates slowed in all the major industrial countries except for you United Kingdom (3%).
    Analysts attribute the slowdown to uncertainties at all the financial markets and lowered consumer confidence. All over this world, nations varied widely in their growth results. Externally the nation-state as a bedrock economic political institution is steadily losing control over international flows of people goods, funds and also technology; internally the central government often fails its control over resources slipping as separatist regional movements-typically based on ethnicity-gain momentum (e.g. in many of the successor states of the former Soviet union. In the former Yugoslavia, India, Iraq, Indonesia and also Canada
    Externally the central government is being decision making power to international bodies, (notably: the EU).
    In Western Europe governments face the difficult political problem of channelling resources away from welfare programs in order to increase investment and strengthen incentives to seek employment.
    Additional circumstances;

    The addition of 80 million people (approximately) each year to an already overcrowd global is exacerbating the problems of pollution desertification, underemployment, epidemics and famine. Because of their own internal problems and priorities the industrialized countries devote insufficient resources to deal effectively with the poorer areas of the world (it seems but improvements are very low) which again at least from an economic point of view are becoming further marginalized. The introduction of the euro as the common currency of much of Western- Europe in the year of 1999.
    While paving the way for an intergraded economic powerhouse, poses economic risks because of varying levels of income and cultural and political differences among the participating nation.
    But of course the attacks on twine tower (11 September 2001) accentuated a growing risk to global prosperity, illustrated for example, by the reallocation of resources away from investment to anti-terrorist programs.
    The opening of another war in the Middle East (Iraq war) in beginning 2003 added new uncertainties to global economic prospects. After the initial coalition victory the complex political difficulties and the high economic cost of establishing domestic order in Iraq became major global problems that continued through 2007.

  31. I am going for Frank Field but think Anne Widdecombe would certainly keep them all in order, like Betty Boothroyd did!!

  32. Anne Widdecomb please. Has a strong sense of juistice and honesty. Also aggressive enough to hold the house in order.

  33. While Ann Widdecombe is a fine public speaker and is very authoritative, and I am sure has the utmost integrity, I have found her to have quite a bias on some subjects and not be someone who seems very ready to be open-minded when listening to people who have different views – even though she may often be right, no one is right all the time. I believe she had planned to step down from Parliament at the next election, and wonder if that means she feels she is now ready for a calmer, Westminster-free life (unless perhaps in the Lords). I would suggest that the next Speaker should be younger. She would no doubt have been an excellent last Speaker, but I am not convinced about her being the next one.

  34. Please refer to the Government web site and disclosures of allowances and expenses Check who has NOT deleted information and has asterised those to be deducted from legitimate allowances. ONE stands out. Anne Widdecombe.

  35. Ann Widdecombe is head and shoulders above the others eacept,perhaps Frank Field.She would be just right for the post with Frank Field only a cat’s whisker behind.Both have clean records and if all politicians had played the game,parliament would be more respected.

  36. I don’t see why we should always elect a pantomine character as Speaker. First it was Betty Boothroyd, then Michael Martin. Now Ann Widdicombe is the favoured goon.
    Can’t we have someone normal for a change?

  37. Frank Field stands out from anyone else. I would trust him, and I don’t trust many in the ‘House’. Ann Widdicombe? perhaps, but I hesitate because she loves being a bit of top-billing too much.

  38. Unfortunately there are few ‘normal’ candidates standing for Speaker, and we cringe as we see that Beckett is the favourite. I still believe that Anne, who does listen to all sides but has her opinions – and what is wrong with that, should be ‘our Speaker’, albeit for a short time while Parliament settles down and has a darn good think about its up-itself-culture. Surely someone without any opinions is a zombie, and incapable of being either an MP or our next Speaker.

  39. I dont see the point of this discussion as we the people,will not have any say in who becomes speaker.
    The speaker will be chosen by the selfservers – need I say more!

  40. i am Conservative. Ann Widdicombe has her merits but I
    think she is a little bit too much of a ‘character’ to have
    the requisite authority. I know the last two (or is it three) have been Labour. If the individual is right for the job then he should be chosen. I think Frank Field has the right qualities.He’s free of doctrinaire attitudes.

  41. Ann Widdicombe is strong enough for the job and is no one’s pet. The last speaker was selected because he was week and could be manipulated, whoever is selected must be tough and above all fair. As Ann is off after the next election she has little to gain, yet plenty to offer.