Page last updated at 15:45 GMT, Tuesday, 18 May 2010 16:45 UK

Speaker's election

Parliament has returned for the first time since the general election and re-elected John Bercow as Speaker of the House of Commons.

Mr Bercow was first elected as Speaker in June 2009 after Michael Martin was forced to step down from the post over the expenses scandal.

The new Parliament looked markedly different to the last, as Conservatives and Liberal Democrats occupied the government benches with Labour on the opposition side of the House.

MPs filed into the packed chamber on 18 May 2010 before being summoned to the House of Lords, to witness the opening of Parliament by the Royal Commission and receive instruction to elect a Speaker.

Back in the Commons chamber, former Speaker John Bercow submitted himself to the House saying it would be "an honour to serve again", and pledged to champion the rights and powers of backbench MPs and discharge his duties "impartially", if re-elected.

Father of the House Sir Peter Tapsell (whose duty it is to oversee Commons' proceedings in the absence of the Speaker) put the question to the House and, despite a handful of cries of objection, MPs approved Mr Bercow's appointment as Speaker-elect.

In customary fashion he was "dragged" to the chair and there followed congratulatory speeches from Prime Minister David Cameron, Acting Leader of the Opposition Harriet Harman and the SNP's Westminster Leader Angus Robertson.

Speaker-elect Bercow is due to receive Royal Approbation - the Queen's consent - in the Lords on 19 May, after which the swearing in of MPs will begin.


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