Monday, 4 February 2008

Speaker to sit?

Sources at the Palace of Westminster have hinted to me that current Speaker of the House of Commons Michael Martin may be considering his position.

Although known to stubbornly deny any leaning towards his former party colleagues on the Labour benches, he has been seen to be favouring the Government in recent weeks, most notably on the European treaty when he would not accept a cross-party amendment to the government line that would have seen the bill fall. Pressure is said to have come from Downing Street to avoid any more pressure for a referendum on the treaty.

The Speaker has not been the most popular figure in the Commons since replacing Betty Boothroyd as in 2000 and while unlikely to stand down voluntarily from his position, may consider not contesting his Glasgow North East seat at the next election.

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