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[Published: Tuesday September 10 2019]

UK: Harriet Harman to run for Commons Speaker

LONDON 10 Sep (ANA) - Harriet Harman has confirmed she will run to become the next Commons Speaker. 
The Labour MP and Mother of the House - the longest continuously-serving female MP - made the announcement after the current Speaker, John Bercow, said he would stand down by 31 October. 
Ms Harman told BBC Radio 4's Today programme it was the Speaker's job "to ensure Parliament can have its say".
Other MPs intending to stand include Tory Sir Edward Leigh and the SNP's Pete Wishart.
Ms Harman - who is known for her campaigning on women's rights - said the next Speaker must be "scrupulously neutral" on debates, and praised Mr Bercow. 
She told Today: "This is a Parliament in very difficult times. We have got very divided times in the country and Parliament itself is divided.
"I think what Parliament has to do, and the Speaker has to do, is to ensure that Parliament can have its say... and that is what John Bercow has sought to do." 
Asked if she would be able to remain neutral in the chair, Ms Harman said: "Once you offer yourself for election as Speaker, you are making a promise you will set [your party] aside and be neutral, so whoever [is Speaker] will have to go through that transition.
"I would be a champion for Parliament. 
"I think the relationship between Parliament and public is very difficult at the moment, and I think a really confident, positive voice speaking about the importance of Parliament with the public is necessary at this time."(ANA)
FA/ANA/10 September 2019-----
 

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