To: UK Parliament

Give us a voice, not a Speaker!

Give us a voice, not a Speaker!

End the undemocratic practice of no major party standing for election against the Speaker, which effectively disenfranchises nearly all the voters in that constituency. When a Speaker is chosen by Parliament, his/her constituents should elect a new MP.

Why is this important?

Since 2010, no major party has stood for election in the Buckingham constituency. Following an archaic, and blatantly anti-democratic convention, none of these parties stands against the Speaker.

The electorate has therefore had the choice of voting for the Speaker, John Bercow – who is unable to vote in the House of Commons – but not for Conservative, Labour or Lib-Dem candidates.

Mr Bercow has just announced that he will stand for election once again. Buckingham constituents thus face another five years of being unrepresented in Parliament. The Speaker is unable to vote on any motion in Parliament so his constituents are effectively disenfranchised. This issue is of national importance - we are being denied our democratic rights!

How it will be delivered

I shall endeavour to deliver the signatures in person to the Speaker (if not, by email). Press conference will depend on the response.

Category


Reasons for signing

  • I'm angry and frustrated to have no stake in the democratic process
  • As an overseas voter who is forced to vote in Buckingham as it is the last place I lived before moving, I find it very frustrating to know that my vote counts for nothing.
  • The role of Speakeris an important one but it should be time limited to ensure representation for constituents or the constituency should have a 2nd MP .

Updates

2017-06-09 09:35:54 +0100

More than 1200 people have signed the petition in the past 24 hours. Nearly 2000 people in Buckingam constituency spoilt their ballot paper yesterday, and Scott Raven, who supports our campaign received over 5000 votes. Bercow in his speech this morning promises to refer 'less than ideal' situation to Parliament. Please continue to share petition to increase pressure. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/politics/constituencies/E14000608

2017-06-08 18:29:58 +0100

5,000 signatures reached

2017-06-08 17:15:56 +0100

Today Britain goes to the polls and decides who becomes the next Government: the Conservatives or Labour. But unlike anywhere else, the Buckingham constituency will not have the option of voting for either party – or for the Lib Dems.

Today it is crucial to stress to voters that John Bercow is not the Conservative candidate. Mr Bercow had to resign from that party in 2009. No Conservative candidate is standing.

At the 2015 election, Buckingham constituency had the largest number of spoilt ballot papers in the country – and the outrage at the lack of democracy has soared since then. We want as many of these people as possible to be aware there is a way to protest – they need to sign our petition.

Mr Bercow has already given in to pressure from our campaign and has vowed to bring this matter up in the new Parliament (should he remain Speaker). The more people who sign our petition, the greater that pressure will be on MPs to rid Britain of this anti-democratic, archaic anomaly.

2017-04-26 22:38:52 +0100

Lib Dem Voice is reporting that Sarah Lowes will not after all be standing against John Bercow. The phrase 'establishment stitch-up' has been mentioned. Watch this space.

2017-04-24 17:53:34 +0100

Scott Raven has just informed me that he will be standing as an Independent in the Buckingham constituency. Scott's manifesto can be found at: https://www.voteraven.org

I have also this morning been interviewed by the Press Association, so expect more coverage. It is important to remember that if the major parties DO stand in Buckingham, we still haven't entirely won our campaign. Only when a Speaker has to resign his/her constituency seat on appointment (triggering a by-election) can that constituency get meaningful representation in Parliament.

2017-04-21 18:17:38 +0100

I have just received confirmation that the Lib-Dems will be putting forward a candidate, Sarah Lowes, for the Buckingham constituency. Let’s hope the other major parties follow suit and the Buckingham electorate get the sort of choice found in every other seat in the country. Perhaps then the new Parliament will address the ridiculous situation whereby the Speaker's constituency gets no effective representation.

Please continue to share this petition to help make this happen. We have now topped 3000 signatures and the total is rising fast. If we bring an end to the 'Speaker's seat' anomaly, Buckingham will be remembered in British constitutional history!

NB: It's worth remembering that John Bercow is not the Conservative candidate. Upon appointment, Speakers have to resign from their political parties.

2015-06-22 15:31:29 +0100

I have received a reply from Speaker John Bercow, refusing to receive the petition in person, though agreeing to forward it to the Leader of the House (Chris Grayling) and to the chair of the Procedure Committee, Charles Walker.

I shall deliver the signatures to this campaign by email, but would urge everyone who has signed this petition to write to John Bercow personally (john.bercow.mp@parliament.uk) to emphasise the depth of feeling on this issue. The comments posted on this site state our case better than I ever can.

2015-06-22 15:26:59 +0100

I have received a supportive letter from Baroness Betty Boothroyd, former Speaker.
In it she states: ‘What I am not comfortable with is that a Speaker cannot speak in the Chamber or vote and I know from experience that constituents are troubled by this. Equally, constituents are troubled by not having a choice to make at an election. I share the views expressed by many constituents on these matters.'

2015-06-10 16:32:12 +0100

I have just written a letter to John Bercow, asking to present our petition to him in Westminster. I await his reply.

2015-05-14 15:54:31 +0100

More than 1200 ballot papers were spoilt in the Buckingham constituency at the election last week - clear evidence of the dissatisfaction in the present system. Our petition more than emphasises this: over 2000 signatures is a tremendous response! Once the new parliament is sitting, I shall contact Mr Bercow with the aim of delivering the petition - either to him or to the chair of the Parliamentary Procedures Committee (Charles Walker, MP, during the last Parliament). It was the PPC that was responsible for looking into the matter of the Speaker's Seat in 2010 - concluding that nothing needed changing. Our petition presents a forcible argument that doing nothing is not an option this time!

2015-04-18 14:57:26 +0100

1,000 signatures reached

2014-04-05 10:58:16 +0100

500 signatures reached

2014-04-03 12:18:39 +0100

100 signatures reached

2014-04-03 11:59:24 +0100

50 signatures reached

2014-04-03 09:27:34 +0100

25 signatures reached

2014-04-02 19:03:45 +0100

10 signatures reached