Devon MP to seeks to become Deputy Speaker
Westcountry MP Gary Streeter has confirmed he will bid to become Deputy Speaker of the House of Commons – with a pledge to “restore confidence” and inject a sense of humour into Parliament.
The Western Morning News previously reported that Mr Streeter was considering putting his name forward for the role following the departure of Nigel Evans.
Tonight Mr Streeter, Conservative MP for Devon South West, said he has decided to throw his hat into the ring after receiving several messages of support.
“I hope I have got the relevant experience,” he said. “I have been a minister in the shadow cabinet, I have had most positions one way or another in opposition and in government and I feel I have very relevant experience to bring to bear.
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“I have received a lot of support from colleagues urging me to stand and in the end that made my mind up for me to have a crack.
“There are five or six very credible candidates so it’s going to be a difficult race to win. Probably the Labour party will be the ones making the final decision.”
The former minister, who already plays a speaker’s role in the Commons representing the Speaker’s Committee on the Electoral Commission, said he is confident he can have a positive effect on how the house is run.
“It gets a bit stormy in the House of Commons and I like to think I can diffuse tension with a bit of humour,” he said.
“I would like to be part of the team that rebuilds lost confidence in our democracy and in Parliament.
“We have gone backwards and we have got to build a credible case for people again. From day one people need to see the House of Commons functioning properly as a group of adults, not school children.”
Evans, the MP for Ribble Valley in Lancashire, is accused of two counts of indecent assault, five of sexual assault and one of rape. The charges date from 2002 to earlier this year.
The post, which comes with a £102,000-a-year salary, has already lured Conservative Transport Minister Simon Burns to run – despite once calling Speaker John Bercow a “stupid, sanctimonious dwarf”.
Rivals also include Nadine Dorries, who temporarily lost the Tory whip after flying to Australia to take part in ITV reality show I’m A Celebrity...Get Me Out Of Here!.