Beckett joins growing list of would-be Speakers
Margaret Beckett has been installed as Labour's leading candidate to become the next Speaker of the House of Commons after confirming that she would be competing for the job.
Ms Beckett, who was sacked from the Government after Gordon Brown's reshuffle last week, said she wanted to help Parliament deal with its "very considerable problems". She looks likely to be the highest profile Labour candidate to enter the election on 22 June.
Tory MP John Bercow remains the current favourite with bookmakers. However, questions over his expenses, as well as a dearth of support from within his own party's ranks, could see him overhauled by Ms Beckett. She said that "time would tell" whether controversy over her expenses would damage her chances. She claimed for a second home, despite owning her constituency home and using a grace and favour flat.
Her announcement adds to the already crowded race to replace the current Speaker, Michael Martin, who will vacate the post on 21 June. The Tory MP Ann Widdecombe, the Conservative Deputy Speaker Sir Michael Lord, Liberal Democrat Sir Alan Beith, and the Tory MPs Sir George Young and Sir Patrick Cormack are among those likely to be among the field. The Labour backbencher, Parmjit Dhanda, also announced yesterday that he was throwing his hat into the ring. The former communities minister said in an email to colleagues that he was not "an obvious choice", but added he wanted to boost political participation among the public.
Sir Menzies Campbell, the Liberal Democrat MP, has not yet decided whether to add his name to the list. He is taking soundings over launching another bid for the prestigious post after losing out to Mr Martin in 2000.
- 1 Joan Rivers: 'Palestinians deserve to be dead'
- 2 Perez Hilton apologises for Jennifer Lawrence nude photo leak
- 3 A teacher speaks out: 'I'm effectively being forced out of a career that I wanted to love'
- 4 Mexican woman becomes world’s 'oldest person' at 127
- 5 Isis terror threat: Leading British Muslims issue fatwa condemning terror group
Israel-Gaza crisis: YouTube footage shows scale of destruction after 50 days of shelling
iPhone 6 'hidden code' could indicate sharper screens or bigger phones
Ebola virus: It's ripped through towns – now the deadliest ever outbreak of the virus is heading for Africa's teeming cities
Perez Hilton apologises for Jennifer Lawrence nude photo leak
A teacher speaks out: 'I'm effectively being forced out of a career that I wanted to love'
Robin Williams Emmys tribute led by Billy Crystal criticised for including 'racist' joke about Muslim woman
Rotherham child sex abuse scandal: Labour Home Office to be probed over what Tony Blair's government knew - and when
The Rotherham child abuse scandal is a tale of apologists, misogyny and double standards
What do immigrants really think of Britain? Polish immigrant's Reddit post goes viral
Do you realise just how foolish the UK looks?
With Douglas Carswell joining Ukip, my party has taken another giant step forward
£70000 - £75000 Per Annum: The Green Recruitment Company: Katie Robinson +44 (...
£28000 - £30000 per annum + Pension, Healthcare: Ashdown Group: IT Support Ana...
£90 - £120 per day: Randstad Education Leicester: KS1 Teaching Specialist Leic...
£90 - £120 per day: Randstad Education Leicester: Are you a Key Stage 2 specia...