Express.co.uk POLL: Are you happy John Bercow will quit as Commons Speaker? – VOTE HERE

JOHN BERCOW will quit as Speaker of the House of Commons after 10 years in the hot seat, but are you happy with his decision? THIS POLL HAS NOW CLOSED.

The departing Commons Speaker said he will stand down at the close of business on October 31 - the same day as Brexit when Britain is scheduled to leave the European Union - if Parliament does not vote for an early general election in the House later this evening. But if MPs vote for an early poll of the British public, Mr Bercow will stand down imminently and will not contest his Buckinghamshire seat in the next election. In an emotional speech, with his wife Sally Bercow watching on from the gallery, he 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

John Bercow

“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.”

He continued: “Least disruptive because that date will fall shortly after the votes on the Queen’s Speech expected on October 21 and 22.

“The week or so after that may be quite lively and it would be best to have an experienced figure in the chair for that short period.

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John Bercow announced his intention to step down as the Speaker of the House of Commons (Image: GETTY)

“Most democratic because it will mean that a ballot is held when all members have some knowledge of the candidates.

“This is far preferable to a contest at the beginning of a parliament when new MPs will not be similarly informed and may find themselves vulnerable to undue institutional influence.”

Mr Bercow added: “I could not serve this House without a small but superb team in the Speaker’s House, my wife Sally and my three children Oliver, Freddie and Jemima.

“From the bottom of my heart, I thank them all profusely.”

READ MORE: You're out Bercow! Boris Johnson declares war on 'failed' Speaker

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The House of Commons Speaker made an emotional speech as he announced his plans to step down from the role (Image: GETTY)

Tributes poured in, with Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn praising Mr Bercow for being a “superb Speaker” who had “totally changed the way in which the job has been done”.

He told Mr Bercow in the Commons: “This Parliament is stronger for you being Speaker. Our democracy is the stronger for your being the Speaker.

“Whatever you do when you finally step down from Parliament, you do so with the thanks of a very large number of people.”

Jo Swinson said casting her vote to elect Mr Bercow as Speaker was the most important vote she has taken whilst being an MP.

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John Bercow received a standing ovation from the opposition benches (Image: PA)

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Jeremy Corbyn paid tribute to the departing John Bercow (Image: SKY NEWS)

Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster Michael Gove said: “Your commitment to your principles and to your constituents is unwavering and an example to others.”

But not everyone is sad to see the departure of Mr Bercow, with Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage summing up the eurosceptic sentiment in a two-word tweet: “Good riddance.”

Mr Bercow took the Speaker’s chair on June 22, 2009, promising to serve “no more than nine years in total”, but abandoned that commitment ahead of the snap general election in 2017.

During his decade as Speaker, he has been a major thorn in the Government’s side and has also been at the centre of several controversial incidents.

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Brexit: What happens next? (Image: EXPRESS)

He sparked fury among Tory MPs by revealing he was a supporter of the fox hunting ban to one of his constituents, agreeing hunting the animals to kill them was “wrong in the 21st century” amid calls for the ban to be repealed in 2011.

Mr Bercow also got caught up in the infamous expenses row, particularly as he took office at the height of the scandal.

He racked up a bill of £172 being chauffeur-driven to a conference less than a mile from Parliament and also spent £367 taking a car to Luton to deliver a speech on how MPs were restoring their reputation after the expenses scandal.

The Speaker also drew criticism for voicing his opposition to the suggestion US President Donald Trump might address the House of Commons during a state visit to the UK in 2017.

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John Bercow has often proved to be a major thorn in the Government's side (Image: AFP / GETTY)

He has faced allegations of bullying from former members of staff, which he has denied, and in January, came under increasing pressure to resign after he was found to have a “Bollocks to Brexit” sticker in his car window.

Mr Bercow said: “That sticker on the subject of Brexit happens to be affixed to or in the windscreen of my wife’s car,” he explained to MPs.

“She is entitled to her views: that sticker is not mine - and that’s the end of it.”

In March, he thwarted an attempt from then-Prime minister Theresa May to bring a third meaningful vote to Parliament on her Brexit deal after she had suffered already suffered two humiliating defeats on it.

He described it as “the same proposition or substantially the same proposition” as the second.