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House of Commons speaker John Bercow to stand down

Speaker makes statement on final day of business before parliament shutdown.

Bercow will leave the role on October 31 at the latest.
Bercow will leave the role on October 31 at the latest.

House of Commons speaker John Bercow has announced his plans to stand down.

Mr Bercow, in an impassioned speech, told MPs he would stand down as speaker on October 31 unless an election is called before then.

MPs will decide later on Monday on whether to have an election on October 14, however they are expected to vote against it.

Addressing the Commons while his wife looked on from the gallery, Mr Bercow said: "At the 2017 election, I promised my wife and children that it would be my last.

"This is a pledge that I intend to keep. If the House votes tonight for an early general election, my tenure as Speaker and MP will end when this Parliament ends.

"If the House does not so vote, I have concluded that the least disruptive and most democratic course of action would be for me to stand down at the close of business on Thursday, October 31."

Last week, MPs voted to make it illegal for the UK to leave the EU without a deal, forcing Prime Minister Boris Johnson to ask for an extension beyond the scheduled October 31 exit date unless an agreement is reached by October 19.

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