23 Jun 2009

Opposition MP elected as new UK Speaker

8:53 am on 23 June 2009

Members of the British House of Commons have elected John Bercow, a member of the opposition, as their new Speaker.

Mr Bercow, 46, a Conservative Party member, received 322 votes in the third round of voting in a secret ballot on Monday, against the 271 received by another Conservative MP, Sir George Young.

The previous Speaker, Labour MP Michael Martin, resigned amid a scandal over lavish parliamentary expenses. He was the first Speaker to be ousted in more than 300 years.

Mr Bercow says MPs have bestowed on him "the greatest honour" and pledged to cast aside his political views and be impartial.

He has been an MP since 1997.