Taylor in contention to be new Speaker

Worcester News: IN THE FRAME: Dr Richard Taylor is one of the favourites to replace Michael Martin. IN THE FRAME: Dr Richard Taylor is one of the favourites to replace Michael Martin.

BOOKIES have made Wyre Forest’s independent MP Dr Richard Taylor one of the front-runners for the prestigious job of Speaker of the House of Commons.

Following yesterday’s historic scenes at Westminster, when current speaker Michael Martin bowed to enormous public pressure and agreed to step down following the scandal over MPs’ expenses, Ladbrokes are now offering odds of 10/1 on Dr Taylor being given the vital role of leading Commons reform.

Dr Taylor is one of only three sitting MPs who are not members of a major party, and so is viewed as being something of an outsider.

He said: “Being fifth-favourite for the role is the most amazing flattery and the most amazing compliment.

“Obviously to go forward I would need to look at what it would actually mean and all the ramifications of it – I’d always have to remember that my duty is to the people who put me here first.

“At the moment it’s just amazement and surprise and delight.”

Dr Taylor, aged 74, was a consultant physician at Kidderminster Hospital with no political experience when he was elected to Parliament in 2001 after campaigning to save his hospital from being downgraded. In 2005 he became the first independent MP to retain his seat for a second term since 1949.

He said the current disenchantment with politicians from the main political parties mean support for independent candidates has grown.

“Everybody now sees the huge benefit of being independent,” he said. “It has not been infrequently over the past few years that party members have said they wished they could have voted the same way as me.”

TV personality Esther Rantzen this week put herself forward as an independent candidate after reading about the claims made by one MP, while former independent MP Martin Bell has refused to rule out running again following the expenses scandal.

Dr Taylor said: “We’ve actually had a number of inquiries from people interested in standing as independents. Friends at home are thinking of putting together a small information pack to give people the information they need.”

But Mid-Worcestershire’s Conservative MP Peter Luff said he “would be very surprised” if Dr Taylor won the Speaker’s role when MPs hold a secret ballot next month.

“I don’t honestly think he’s got the parliamentary knowledge required,” he said.

Mr Luff said he believed Mr Martin “had to go” and hoped it was “the first step” in restoring public trust in Parliament.

Worcester’s Labour MP Mike Foster said Mr Martin’s resignation was “always likely given the circumstances of the past few days”.

Comments (3)

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7:49am Wed 20 May 09

TmP says...

I have no doubt Dr. Taylor would make a good job of it lets face it he could not do worse however he is in all reality too old and he does a worth while job in his present area.
I have no doubt Dr. Taylor would make a good job of it lets face it he could not do worse however he is in all reality too old and he does a worth while job in his present area. TmP
  • Score: 0

8:24am Wed 20 May 09

jabbadad says...

I totally agree, Richard Taylor is a true gentleman, and of course an Independant, but yes he is too old for this hugely important job, and yes the next speaker should be seen to publicly disassociate him or herself from any political party. The biggest laugh is that the MPs themselves are going to debate the expense situation, it's like asking the criminals to suggest what sentance they should get.
It has to be a general election which should also look at our withdrawal from the EU before that slush pile of expenses comes out.
I totally agree, Richard Taylor is a true gentleman, and of course an Independant, but yes he is too old for this hugely important job, and yes the next speaker should be seen to publicly disassociate him or herself from any political party. The biggest laugh is that the MPs themselves are going to debate the expense situation, it's like asking the criminals to suggest what sentance they should get. It has to be a general election which should also look at our withdrawal from the EU before that slush pile of expenses comes out. jabbadad
  • Score: 0

11:23pm Wed 20 May 09

Common Sense says...

Absolutely right, jabba...!

I DO hope the public is at last waking up to the dire state of our country!

This seems to have shaken them out of their apathy - let's hope we can now get it right, for once!

It's high-time the British Bulldog woke up and bit somebody - very hard!!
Absolutely right, jabba...! I DO hope the public is at last waking up to the dire state of our country! This seems to have shaken them out of their apathy - let's hope we can now get it right, for once! It's high-time the British Bulldog woke up and bit somebody - very hard!! Common Sense
  • Score: 0

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