Ex-Speaker Michael Martin to get peerage

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The Queen has approved a peerage for former Commons Speaker Michael Martin, Downing Street confirmed today.

Prime Minister Gordon Brown's spokesman said a motion approved by MPs asking for the service of Mr Martin to be recognised had been accepted by the monarch.

"There is a long-established convention that previous Speakers receive peerages. There was an uncontested motion that went through the House and the Queen has decided to grant Michael Martin a peerage," he said.

In a motion presented by Commons Leader Harriet Harman last week, MPs agreed to ask the Queen to honour Mr Martin "for his eminent services during the important period in which he presided with such distinguished ability and dignity in the chair of this House".

Mr Martin, who stepped down earlier this month, was the first Speaker to be effectively forced from office in centuries after he lost the confidence of MPs and was publicly urged to go by senior figures including Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg.

In a typically oblique response, the Vice-Chamberlain of the Household told the Commons that the Queen was "desirous, in compliance with the request of her faithful Commons, to confer upon the Right Hon Michael J Martin some signal mark of her royal favour".