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'Politics in an Anti-Politics Age' with Rt Hon John Bercow MP
This keynote address is part of of the PSA Annual International Conference 2019 in Nottingham, UK. In this conference keynote lecture, the Rt Hon John Bercow MP, Speaker of the House of Commons, discusses how Parliament should respond to the challenges that have emerged to it over the next decade and what the House of the future might look like.
About the Keynote Speaker:
Rt Hon John Bercow MP
Speaker of the House of Commons
Since his election as Speaker in 2009, John Bercow has sought to champion the rights of backbenchers, and granted an unprecedented 592+ Urgent Questions from MPs — more than any other Speaker — to bring ministers to account on the pressing issues of the day.
His attempts to modernise Parliament, include the removal of a pistol shooting gallery and the creation of a workplace nursery for the use of MPs and staff.
He is a passionate supporter of LGBT rights — and has spearheaded efforts to make Parliament more diverse and representative of the nation, with the appointment of the first Serjeant at Arms, Commons chaplain and senior lawyer from black, Asian and ethnic minority backgrounds (BAME).
He was one of the founders of the Speaker’s parliamentary placement scheme, giving young people a chance to shadow and work for MPs — and spearheaded the opening of a Parliamentary Education Centre, which is set to attract one million school children in 10 years.
He was also the first Speaker to allow the UK Youth Parliament to debate in the House of Commons chamber — an annual event he also chairs.
But after 9.5 years in top office, Mr Bercow says he is most proud of his outreach work — visiting hundreds of schools, universities and community groups across the UK — to broaden the appeal of Parliament.
“One of the best bits about this job, as an ambassador for Parliament, is talking to young people — our future MPs and lawmakers — about how it works and what we do,” he said.
Professor Angelia Wilson
The PSA Annual Conference Drinks Reception will follow Mr Speaker’s Keynote Lecture.