The Speaker of the House of Commons: The Office and Its Holders since 1945
MetadataShow full item record
The post-war period has witnessed the Speakership of the House of Commons evolving from an important internal parliamentary office into one of the most recognised public roles in British political life. This historic office has not, however, been examined in any detail since Philip Laundy’s seminal work entitled The Office of Speaker published in 1964. This thesis updates Laundy’s work and brings the examination of the Speakership right up to the election of John Bercow as Speaker in June 2009. The manner by which the Speaker is elected and how this process has changed since 1945 is explored as is the way in which a Speaker contests a general election if he or she wishes to remain in office for longer than one parliamentary session. The powers and responsibilities of the Speaker are identified and the way in which these have changed and developed are discussed. Each of the post-war Speakers is examined to see what his or her personal contribution has been to the ongoing development of the office. The thesis concludes with an analysis of how the Speakership is viewed today compared with the start of the period. The office has always been held in high esteem by fellow parliamentarians but now it enjoys similar recognition by the wider general public thanks to the introduction of radio and television broadcasting of the House of Commons. Whilst the task of chairing the debates in the chamber remains the same, a modern Speaker must also rise to the challenge of being a skilled administrator, diplomat and media personality.
AuthorsLaban, Matthew William
- Theses