The Press Association is reporting that Ann Widdecombe is seriously considering standing as an interim Speaker until the next election. While she has not yet made a formal declaration, she is clearly up for it, but says she will wait until she has ascertained whether she would have any support on the Labour benches. I first suggested her for the position of Speaker several years ago and if the situation were different I'd unreservedly support her for the job. But love her as I do, I can't help but think that an interim Speaker would be a mistake. The public want reform of the system now, and aren't prepared to wait until the next Parliament. Any interim Speaker, whether it is Ann or someone else, would not be in a position to implement a meaningful reform programme.
Or maybe that's the wrong judgment. Maybe a figure like Ann Widdecombe, who commands huge public recognition and popularity is just the sort of figure to knock a few heads together and be seen to be doing so.