Commons speaker to quit

MICHAEL Martin is to announce his intention to stand down as House of Commons Speaker in the ongoing controversy over MPs' expenses.

Graham Dines

MICHAEL Martin is to announce his intention to stand down as House of Commons Speaker in the ongoing controversy over MPs' expenses.

He will make a statement to the House at 2.30pm setting out his intentions.

The news broke as the motion of no confidence in Mr Martin tabled by the Conservative MP for Harwich Douglas Carswell appeared on the Commons Order Paper for the first time with the signatures of 23 MPs.


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Mr Carswell said it gave him no pleasure to have played a part in bringing Mr Martin down, but said the House of Commons needed a new Speaker to help guide it out of the current crisis. “I have acted not as his enemy and least of all as an opposition MP. I have acted as somebody who cares passionately for the parliamentary system.

“I believe we have found ourselves in a moral ditch and we need reform and change to get out of that ditch and restore dignity to politics.

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“It gives me no pleasure to have done this at all, but it was necessary to do it. We need a new Speaker who understands that 'sovereignty of Parliament' is shorthand for 'sovereignty of the people'.

“The reason why I think we need Michael Martin to step down is because he not only presided over this system, he actively sought to prevent reform.”

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