Lord McFall elected Lord Speaker to oversee peers

Lord McFall elected Lord Speaker to oversee peers

Lord McFall of Alcluith has been elected as the Lords Speaker, to oversee peers in Parliament.

The former Labour MP beat rivals Lord Alderdice and Baroness Hayter to the role.

The election was triggered by the resignation of Lord Fowler who said he was standing down to “speak his mind” on issues he cares about like Aids.

The Lord Speaker presides over debates in the chamber and is responsible for security in the Lords’ area.

Lord McFall said he was “humbled” to have been chosen.

He said the Lords’ return to Westminster after the pandemic, and the restoration and renewal programme were challenges to be faced in the months and years ahead.

“The valuable and often unheralded work of the House of Lords and its members contributes to improving the lives of millions of people, but I know we need to do more to tell our story and to explain the value that we bring,” he said.

“As Lord Speaker, I stand ready to play my part in meeting the challenges that lie ahead. I want the Lords to be a vibrant, outward-facing legislature that reaches out as widely as possible across all parts of the United Kingdom.”

Ex Labour MP Lord McFall is best known for chairing the Commons Treasury select committee during the 2008 financial crisis.

From 1987-2005 he represented the Scottish constituency of Dumbarton and from 2005-2010 West Dunbartonshire. Before becoming an MP he worked as a chemistry and maths teacher.

He is currently the senior deputy Speaker and helped ensure peers could take part in the House of Lords from home during the pandemic.

During his campaign he said : “Reaching out to young people, particularly in hard to reach communities, is vital if we are genuinely going to reinvigorate interest in the House of Lords.”

Commons Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle said of Lord McFall “you couldn’t find a nicer, kinder more welcoming politician” adding that he had “demonstrated a zeal for impartiality and fair-mindedness” as senior deputy Lords Speaker.

Lord Fowler also congratulated the new Lords Speaker tweeting: “I know he will embrace the challenges and opportunities ahead with energy and purpose.”

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