Below is the text of the speech made by Sir Lindsay Hoyle, the Speaker of the House of Commons, following the commencement of Parliament following the 2019 General Election.
First, I would like to thank the constituents of Chorley for allowing me to put myself forward as Speaker, and I would also like to welcome all the new Members to the House. May I offer many congratulations to you on your new role as Father of the House, Sir Peter? Of course, this is nothing new to your family; as you know, you have great history in this Room. You have served this place and your constituents for 44 and a half years—it just goes to show all the newcomers that this really can be a job for life—[Laughter.] And I do not think this is the end just yet.
It has been an absolute privilege to serve as a Deputy Speaker for the past nine years and as Speaker for a full two days; I have to say that that made the election pretty easy. Of course, Parliament was dissolved last month and it would be an honour to serve again in this Parliament—I hope that this time it would be for a little longer.
As I have said before, a Speaker has to be trusted, and I believe I was trusted as Deputy Speaker. I have a proven track record of being impartial, independent and fair, allowing Members to exercise their right to speak regardless of the length of their service. [Interruption.] I would have thought the new MPs would have given me a bit of a boost on that—do not let those who have been here a lot longer start dictating already! Having served on the Back Benches for 13 years myself, I understand how important it is for Back Benchers to be able to hold the Government to account and to promote the causes that are dear to them. On that basis, I submit myself to the House as your Speaker and your champion. I will ensure that my office is open to all.