Chorley MP Sir Lindsay Hoyle odds on favourite to be next Speaker after announcing his candidacy
Sir Lindsay Hoyle, MP for Chorley, is the bookmakers' favourite to replace outgoing John Bercow as Speaker of the House of Commons.
The veteran Labour MP, who has represented Chorley since 1997 and has served as Deputy Speaker since 2010, announced his candidacy on Twitter this evening.
"Now that there is a vacancy for the Office of Speaker of the House of Commons," he wrote, "I am happy to confirm that I will be standing as a candidate".
Sir Lindsay has made no secret of his interest in the role in the past.
In May this year, he told PoliticsHome: "When the Speaker decides to go, he will go and if there is a race set up, yes, I may well enter that race.
"But I’ll certainly wait for the starting gun first.”
Sir Lindsay is now widely tipped as the favourite to replace John Bercow, after he announced today that he would stand down as Commons Speaker at next election or on 31 October - "whichever comes first".
The 62 year old, who was born and raised in Adlington, is currently leading the pack of potential successors at 4/5 according to Oddschecker.com.
That puts him ahead of former acting Labour leader Harriet Harman, and his fellow Deputy Speaker, Tory MP Eleanor Laing.
There have been rumours about the safety of John Bercow's position as Speaker for months, after he promised to leave the post in the Summer of 2019, before changing his mind to stay on longer.
When he was elected in 2009, Bercow - MP for Buckinham - had initially promised to leave by the Summer of 2018.
In an impassioned speech to Parliament before MPs vote on whether to hold an early general election, Bercow said: "If the House votes tonight for an early general election, my tenure as Speaker and MP will end when this Parliament ends.
"If the House does not so vote, I have concluded that the least disruptive and most democratic course of action would be for me to stand down at the close of business on Thursday October 31."
With just seven weeks until October 31, MPs will not have long to elect a new Speaker of the House of Commons.
The Speaker is an MP who is elected by the other MPs to chair debates in the Commons chamber.
As the chief officer and highest authority of the House of Commons, the Speaker must remain politically impartial at all times.
The Speaker also represents the Commons to the Monarch, the Lords and other authorities and chairs the House of Commons Commission.