Page last updated at 15:37 GMT, Wednesday, 1 October 2008 16:37 UK

Lord Speaker

The Lord Speaker presides over debates and proceedings in the House of Lords from the Woolsack.

A to Z: The Lord Speaker

The post was created under the Constitutional Reform Act 2005, which handed some of the responsibilities of the Lords Chancellor to the occupier of the new post.

The Lord Speaker is elected for a period of five years, and can serve no more than two terms.

He or she is independent of party politics and not allowed to vote, has no power to call the House to order, to call members to speak or to select amendments due to the self-regulating nature of the upper House.

Peers elected the Labour Peer Baroness Hayman as the first Lord Speaker in 2006.

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