Labour Remain Campaigner, Feminist Harman Says Will Run For UK's Commons Speaker

Labour Remain Campaigner, Feminist Harman Says Will Run for UK's Commons Speaker

LONDON (UrduPoint News / Sputnik - 10th September, 2019) Labour lawmaker Harriet Harman, a prominent Remain campaigner in the 2016 Brexit referendum and feminist, announced on Tuesday her bid to run for UK House of Commons speaker after John Bercow revealed his plans to step down on October 31.

On Monday, Bercow announced that he would stand down on October 31 - the date when the country is expected to leave the European Union unless Brussels grants it another extension, sought by the opposition but opposed by the government, which aims to take the country out of the bloc with or without a deal. Bercow wanted to resign earlier, just after the country was due to leave the bloc initially, but has since been postponing the decision until the Brexit is delivered.

"Yes, I will put myself forward for election as speaker," Harman told BBC Radio 4's Today program.

She noted that the parliament was going through "very difficult times," which is "very worrying" as the legislature is a "foundation of our democracy.

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"We have got very divided times in the country and Parliament itself is divided," the lawmaker pointed out.

Harman vowed that she would be "scrupulously neutral" as speaker and set aside her own views, including on Brexit, only being a "champion for Parliament."

"I think what Parliament has to do, and the Speaker has to do, is to ensure that Parliament can have its say... and that is what John Bercow has sought to do," she added.

Among other candidates for the post of House of Commons speaker are Conservative lawmaker Edward Leigh, Labour's Chris Bryant and Pete Wishart of the Scottish National Party.

House of Commons speaker is an important but non-partisan figure in the UK parliament, who presides over debates, determining who may speak, and is in charge of ensuring order. It was arguably Bercow's principled stance that prejudged former Prime Minister Theresa May government's failure to take the Brexit issue out of the parliament's control.

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