Already in the first ballot he had 211 of 562 votes, the second classified had almost a hundred votes less. In the following two ballots the gap widened and after the fourth it was clear: Sir Lindsay Hoyle is the new president of the British House of Commons, the new Mister Speaker. 325 deputies voted for him, an absolute majority was required, more than 270 of the 540 votes cast in the last vote.
Even before the elections, the 62-year-old was considered a big favorite, the online betting offices bet him with 16: 1. And after such a clear first vote, the result usually changes fundamentally only if the members of a particular field want to block a candidate . It would not be a surprise the heated and partially poisoned atmosphere that has prevailed in the Lower House in recent weeks, where Brexit has hardened the fronts and the sound has become rougher. But the new speaker is widely accepted across the border of his Labor party.
Hoyle has been a member of Parliament's Labor Party since 1997, representing Chorley, a constituency on the north-west coast of England. Before being elected to parliament, he ran a textile printing company. With the office of the speaker he has experience, since 2010 he has been one of the three deputies of the outgoing John Bercow. Hoyles' father was also a Labor MP, now holding the role of Baron Hoyle in the House of Lords.
Who is Sir Lindsay Hoyle?
Hoyle gained notoriety and sympathy in 1997, in his first year as a Member. After the death of Princess Diana, she campaigned for the foundation of a children's hospital with her name, as a reminder of her and her charitable work. He also called for the renaming of London Heathrow Airport to "Diana Princess of Wales Airport". "This would be an ideal way to keep your name in your memory forever, with people all over the world," he told the British media at the time. Both petitions were rejected – Hoyle, however, made a name for the mourning British.
Two days before the election of the new speaker, Hoyle published a photo on Twitter that shows him at home watching rugby. He sits on a chair, with the wrong angle to the screen, a little lost in a room too large and too empty, too far from a table with a tea cup, a sweater, without shoes, with pink and blue striped stockings. If this image does not mention the inexperience of the media, the message is clear: Hoyle is harmless, as an alternative close to the people to the sometimes stiff deputies with a tie – usually occurs in the lower room.
But how will Hoyle become a speaker? Its predecessor Bercow has raised the bar. He led the House of Commons with charisma and humor and campaigned unconditionally for Parliament's rights. The no-deal bill, which forced Johnson to request a move to Brexit in Brussels, would not have emerged without his intervention, as he vehemently campaigned against Parliament's unusually long compulsory pause with the Prime Minister Boris Johnson Brexit Course, which was eventually condemned as illegal by the highest British court. How does Hoyle feel about the independence of the House of Commons – and what is your position on Brexit?
As an arbiter against the pecking order
In his five-minute speech on the application, with which Hoyle was able to present himself to the deputies before the vote on the new speaker, he said he wanted to make the government responsible. Over the years he has tried to be vice president to make sure that all parliamentarians hear "not just people who have been here for 35 years". There should not be a bill order in parliament, but equality among the deputies. Previously he referred to the British "Sunday Times" as a referee.
However, Hoyle remained vague in his speech, more tolerant than determined. He seemed far less ambitious than, for example, his competitors Harriet Harman and Eleanor Laing, who called for fundamental changes and modernization in parliament. He observed without obligation and with little speculation that the lower house would be below its potential at this time – but there are great ideas about how it could be better designed. He also wanted to improve the safety of MEPs and their families. So far – so vague.
And as for his qualities as a reconciler among the now distant fields of the former center – Tories and Labor – he must also show time. The lightness and the skill of Bercov are not his, but if necessary, he can compensate it with a more contained and quite practical charm. A scene could be considered as a preview of his next attempts as a speaker:
When members of the Scottish SNP started singing "Joy beautiful spark spark" in parliament in 2017, he had to call them to rest. With the European anthem they wanted to announce their attitude towards Brexit apparently outside the agenda. When he noticed the voice, Hoyle responded with a mixture of requests and excessive difficulties, but in the end he saved the situation with a fascinating twist. Visibly dissatisfied with the action, he first shouted to the director delegate to refrain from singing – but he concluded more conciliatory based on the fact that otherwise he would join other singers who "would not have had the vote". Overall, Hoyle is known for muted tones and is respected on both sides of the meeting room.
Brexit – maybe
As for Brexit, Hoyle never revealed his position. This could be pure tactics, because its constituency voted in the Brexit referendum in 2016 with 56.8 percent for the withdrawal of the EU Kingdom. With such a close result, he runs the risk of raising about half of the voters against him – regardless of the position for or against the Brexit he has drawn. With his silence, Hoyle also leads the official party line that claims the Labor leader Jeremy Corbyn – that is to say, to support Brexit with as many voters, Proeuropäer of the left as Eurosceptics.
As for his future work as a speaker, this supposed neutrality could be an advantage – after all, he must now act as an impartial one for the common understanding between the deputies. A strong opinion on Brexit could bother you there.