YOU’VE seen the 1970s Saatchi & Saatchi advertisement. “It was a Conservative – Mrs. Pankhurst – who first led the fight for votes for women. It was the Conservatives who first gave all women the vote 50 years ago. It was a Conservative who was the first woman to sit in Parliament. It was the Conservatives who elected the first party leader… We can add to that. It was a Conservative who became the first and second woman prime ministers.
Contrary to the popular myth, there’s no convention that the Speakership passes from one side of the House to the other.
Therefore, another Conservative milestone is achievable: on 4 November, MPs can – and should – elect Dame Eleanor Laing MP as the first woman Conservative Commons Speaker in 650 years.
Early start as it’s the #StateOpening of @UKParliament later today! MPs will spend several sitting days debating the content of the #QueensSpeech. Before that gets underway, I recorded this video about my #Speakher campaign. Let me know if you agree. #Eleanor4Speaker??♀️ pic.twitter.com/bgG4rdRV28
— Dame Eleanor Laing MP (@eleanor4epping) October 14, 2019
Dame Eleanor has an impressive record – as a lawyer, MP and Deputy Speaker for six years – and she has set out a clear vision for the role that will resonate: “We must show respect for each other in Parliament, respect for Parliamentary proceedings and scrutiny, and respect for democracy and the people.”
The Mother of Parliaments is facing one of her biggest challenges in a century. Brexit is arguably the biggest issue to impact the UK since the Second World War, the Suez crisis and invasion of the Falklands. What we need now is an experienced and impartial person in the chair to restore confidence in politics.
Adam Honeysett-Watts is Director of Conservatives in Communications and works in the financial technology sector. He is a former Board Member of UN Women UK and is campaigning for Dame Eleanor Laing MP to become the first woman Conservative Commons Speaker.