Lindsay Hoyle - Speaker Lindsay Hoyle: Neutral Arbiter of the UK's House of Commons - 21/Feb/2024

Lindsay Hoyle – Speaker Lindsay Hoyle: Neutral Arbiter of the UK’s House of Commons – 21/Feb/2024

Speaker Lindsay Hoyle: Neutral Arbiter of the UK’s House of Commons

Sir Lindsay Hoyle is a prominent figure in the world of British politics, primarily known for his role as the Speaker of the House of Commons. As Speaker, Hoyle has a significant impact on parliamentary procedures, debates, and the maintenance of order within the Commons. The role requires a balance of strong leadership, unbiased moderation, and an intimate knowledge of parliamentary law and traditions.

Early Life and Rise to Political Prominence

Born on 10 June 1957 in Adlington, Lancashire, Sir Lindsay Hoyle followed in the political footsteps of his father, Doug Hoyle, who was also a member of Parliament. Lindsay Hoyle embarked on his political career by serving as a councilor before entering national politics. He was elected to Parliament as the Labour MP for Chorley in 1997 and quickly became known for his interest in helping small businesses and his dedication to animal welfare—both issues often highlighted on the political stage.

Becoming Deputy Speaker and Challenges Faced

In 2010, Hoyle was elected to the position of Deputy Speaker of the House of Commons. His tenure in this role was marked by moments of great challenge and sternness, particularly as he navigated the turbulent waters of political debate over issues such as Brexit. His firm but fair handling of issues earned him respect from many sides of the political spectrum.

Election as Speaker of the House of Commons

Following the retirement of former Speaker John Bercow, Lindsay Hoyle was elected as Speaker on 4 November 2019. He garnered support from all major parties, indicating the general respect he commanded across party lines. His approach differed from his predecessor’s; while Bercow was known for being outspoken, Hoyle embraced a more traditional stance on the Speaker’s visibility and opinions on governance.

Duties and Responsibilities as Speaker

The role of the Speaker comes with a great range of duties and responsibilities crucial to the operation of Parliament. Broadly when speaking about these functions, they can be divided into several key areas:

Presiding Over Debates:

His primary duty is to oversee all debates in the House of Commons, ensuring MPs follow rules and decorum. This includes granting permission to speak, calling order during heated discussions, and dealing with disorderly behavior.

Representing Parliament:

The Speaker represents the Commons to the monarch, Lords, and other authorities and has ceremonial roles that can include leading state occasions and welcoming visiting dignitaries.

Chairing House Commissions:

He also chairs the House of Commons Commission which handles administrative matters within Parliament.

Staying Above Politics:

Once elected as Speaker, Hoyle had to renounce any former political affiliations to maintain impartiality. He no longer actively participates in debates nor votes unless there is a tie. The fundamental principle here is neutrality, allowing him to arbitrate without partiality.

Hoyle’s Style and Contribution to Politics

Hoyle’s leadership style has been characterized by a preference for tradition coupled with an amicable manner that does not attract controversy—a stark contrast to some louder figures within Parliament. He has served at a unique time due to global events such as the COVID-19 pandemic, where he supervised alterations to parliamentary procedure to allow for virtual participation by MPs.

Challenges Ahead

Sir Lindsay Hoyle sees ongoing challenges in maintaining decorum while allowing for vigorous discussion within the chambers. In an ever-evolving political climate that sometimes tends towards partisanship over protocol, his role in safeguarding democratic practices within the Commons remains paramount.


  • Lindsay Hoyle was elected as a Labour MP for Chorley in 1997 before later becoming the Speaker
  • He became Deputy Speaker in 2010 and later Speaker in 2019
  • As Speaker, he presides over debates and maintains order in the House of Commons
  • He abstains from participating in any debates or active politics to maintain impartiality
  • Image Description

    The image would show Sir Lindsay Hoyle in his official Speaker garments – a black robe over a business suit – standing authoritative on his dais inside the House of Commons chamber with microphones visible. Behind him can be seen MPs seated across representing various constituencies with center benches usually reserved for ministers and shadow ministers. The golden ornate walls and green benches are characteristic features accentuating the historic ambiance of the setting.