Page last updated at 16:34 GMT, Thursday, 12 November 2009

Speaker's wife to run for Labour

John and Sally Bercow
Mr Bercow will be able to vote for his Labour-supporting wife

The wife of Commons Speaker - and former Tory MP - John Bercow is to run for office as a Labour candidate.

Sally Bercow is campaigning for a seat on Westminster Council in next May's local elections, in a ward where her husband is one of the voters.

Westminster's Labour leader, Paul Dimoldenberg, told the BBC he expected Mr Bercow to back his wife.

St James's ward, where Mrs Bercow is running, currently has three Conservative councillors.

Formerly a Tory activist herself, Mrs Bercow has been a member of the Labour Party for more than a decade.

'Exciting'

Mr Dimoldenberg said: "I think she will be a great candidate. She will be modern, outgoing and will really get stuck in to the nitty gritty of canvassing and dealing with local issues.

"If and when she is elected, she will be a first-class councillor, representing her constituents and really adding to the Labour team in Westminster."

Westminster Council is dominated by Conservatives, with only 10 Labour members.

But Mr Dimoldenberg said: "With local elections you don't really get safe seats, as turnouts can be very low.

"We are hoping to increase the turnout in this ward by exciting people with a top candidate who will bring out Labour voters and others."

St James's ward includes Downing Street and the Palace of Westminster, where the Bercows live in an apartment with their three children.

Mr Dimoldenberg said: "The Speaker will have a vote. It's the same ward. The House of Commons is in that ward. The prime minister can also vote for her if he wants.

"We would expect Mr Bercow to vote for his wife."



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