Speaker Election Day: Who’s in and who’s out

As the decisive voting day dawns, mySociety has eight full or partial endorsements of our 3 Principles from possible candidates for Speaker of the Commons. We hope you take a look at what they said in full on their TheyWorkForYou pages. Just five possible candidates didn’t reply in writing, or at all – those absentees being Patrick Cormack, Sylvia Heal, Margaret Beckett, Parmijit Dhanda and Ann Widdecombe (who did phone, but doesn’t seem to have followed up with email). Interestingly, the five non-respondants included both candidates whose offices don’t accept email (Beckett and Cormack).

The last time MPs voted for a speaker, the one candidate who didn’t show at the hustings went on to win. Let’s hope MPs learned the lesson of voting for a candidate who isn’t willing to stand up and be counted when it comes to the issues that make their job so critical…


  1. Wait, there are actually MPs who don’t accept email from their constituents? Seriously? Do they give a reason? My flabber is ghasted.

  2. Flabber also ghasted re the fact that some MPs configure their lives not to accept email” but equally ghasted by the suggestion that any ‘lobbying’ organisation, however third sector, ‘not for profit’ or non aligned they claim to be or actually are, can reasonably expect public servants (granted many have forgotten that that is indeed what they are) to bow to their agenda. That would be the worst kind of followtics…..however, good and noble the “principles” such as the second one (and what about “world peace”) we want leadership not pandering and platitudes.

  3. @jane – I don’t think there’s an expectation that the speaker will “bow to” this agenda. But, there is an expectation that MPs should be transparent (however forlorn). My Society has a right to make policy suggestions, and a right to publish the responses – just as anyone else does.

    Elected representatives do have a leadership responsibility, but that can’t be discharged without an understanding of what’s possible, what’s desirable, and what’s desired. In this instance, it’s vanishingly unlikely that the proposals made will be carried out without some lobbying. Most MPs would not understand them easily, let alone invent them independently.