Roger`s spell as an acting Deputy Speaker of the House of Commons has ended with the election, this week, of the full-time Deputy Speakers.
Roger, as the senior member of the Speaker`s Panel of Chairman, was appointed by Mr. Speaker Bercow at the start of this parliament, to act as one of the team of three (the Speaker himself and the veteran Labour Member George Howarth) to preside over the debates on the Queen`s Speech while the elections (in which acting Deputies are barred from participating) took place.
“Sitting in the big chair for five sessions has been both an honour and a daunting experience” says Sir Roger. “I am delighted to have been asked to serve the House in this way but with nearly two hundred new names and faces to try to get to know in short order, and with very many – and on both sides of the House excellent – Maiden Speeches to be made it has been demanding.
In the longer term I prefer the flexibility afforded to a backbencher able to table parliamentary questions, speak in the Chamber and engage in other activities inside and outside the House but the last few days have offered me a fascinating and enjoyable further insight into the work of The House.