The Speaker
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The Speaker

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The Speaker is an MP who is elected by all the other members of the House of Commons, to be their chairman. Normally the Commons will select someone who has served as an MP for many years, and who fully understands Parliamentary practice and respects Parliamentary tradition. Once the Speaker has accepted and taken up office, he or she has to put aside his or her party loyalties, because the Speaker must be completely unbiased. Betty Boothroyd, was elected as the 155th Speaker of the House of Commons and as the First Madam Speaker, in April 1992.

The main question is that Miss Betty Boothroyd do take the chair of this house as Speaker. As many as are of that opinion say Aye
Edward Heath


Those of the contrary opinion say No
Edward Heath


The ayes have it
Edward Heath


The Speaker also has important ceremonial functions, the most memorable being at the State Opening of Parliament. Black Rod, acting as the Royal messenger, calls the Speaker and the rest of the Commons to attend the Queen's address in the House of Lords. The Speaker then leads the members in procession from the Commons to the Lords Chamber. On this, and other such state occasions, the Speaker is dressed in state robes trimmed with gold and wears gold buckled shoes. The Speaker lives in an Official State Residence within the Palace of Westminster.

The Speaker is usually chosen from the government side of the House, although it obviously helps if all parties can agree on such a decision. The Speaker must also be someone who is greatly respected by the other members, because once elected this person comes to stand for the House of Commons in public. Each day, as the Speaker's procession makes its way towards the Chamber, all MPs must stand aside and bow, and all strangers must remove their hats as a mark of respect.

Speaker !

The Speaker is so called because on many occasions in the past he had to speak for or on behalf of the House of Commons - to the Queen, to the House of Lords, and also to a variety of organisations outside Parliament. The Speaker also has to represent the Commons on State occasions.

Inside the Chamber the Speaker occupies the Chair centred between the benches of the two main parties. The chair is positioned so that the Speaker is fully able to control and keep order between the opposing parties once Parliament is in session. All speeches must be addressed to the Speaker, and if debates become heated the speaker utters the familiar cry of 'Order Order!' to bring the members under control. The Speaker also decides who may speak during a debate, and if more than one member stands up to speak at the same time the Speaker must judge wisely as to who may speak next. In many debates there are a large number of members who try in vain to 'catch the Speaker's eye'.

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