Labour MP Sir Lindsay Hoyle has been elected by MPs as the Commons Speaker, pledging to give backbenchers more power to hold the government to account.
The MP for Chorley in Lancashire emerged as the early favourite after the first round of voting and secured his place as John Bercow’s successor in the fourth ballot.
Seven candidates stood for the speakership on a penultimate day before Parliament is dissolved for the general election, with Sir Edward Leigh, Meg Hillier, Dame Rosie Winterton and
Dame Eleanor Laing being eliminated, and “Mother of the House” Harriet Harman withdrawing before the final round.
Sir Lindsay then defeated Chris Bryant by 325 votes to 213 in the fourth and final ballot.
All the candidates used speeches to a busy Commons chamber to distance themselves from Mr Bercow, who took on a high-profile role in the Brexit process with rulings that broke precedent and allowed MPs to frustrate the government’s plans.
The Speaker had also faced accusations of bullying from senior Commons staff.
A number of SNP MPs did not take part in the election, choosing to stay in Scotland to campaign.
Sir Lindsay stressed the need to allow backbench MPs to hold those in power to account.
He said the Commons was “not a club”, adding: “The person who walked through that door yesterday is just as important to their constituents – their voice must be heard as well – and the pecking order ought not to be there, it is about equality.”
Sir Lindsay vowed to push on with security reforms to keep MPs, their families, staff and the Commons safe.
Mr Bryant had pledged to “return to the rulebook, stitch it back together”, acting as an “umpire, not a player”.
Ms Laing highlighted the need to defend MPs, saying: “There are times for continuity and there are times for change. This is the time for change.
“I want to be that change ... we need to escape from the overbearing and hierarchical structures that have made it all too easy for a culture of bullying to take root.”