Neha Patil (Editor)

Speaker of the British House of Commons election, 1971

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The 1971 election of the Speaker of the House of Commons occurred on 12 January 1971, following the retirement of the previous Speaker Dr Horace King. The election resulted in the election of Conservative MP Selwyn Lloyd. It was the first election with more than one nominee since William Morrison defeated Major James Milner on 31 October 1951. However, under the rules at the time, any MP could be nominated for Speaker with or without their consent or knowledge. Labour MP Geoffrey de Freitas was nominated against his wishes to stand against Lloyd. Subsequently, the rules were changed to require the consent of a nominee for Speaker before he or she could be nominated.


Nominated Candidates

  • Selwyn Lloyd (Conservative)
  • Geoffrey De Freitas (Labour)
  • Election

    The election was conducted by means of a conventional parliamentary motion, originally to elect Selwyn Lloyd. He was proposed and seconded by Conservative MP Dame Irene Ward and Labour MP Charles Pannell respectively.

    Conservative MP Robin Maxwell-Hyslop moved an amendment to the original motion to elect Geoffrey De Freitas, who was then seconded by Labour MP Willie Hamilton.

    Lloyd then gave a speech of submission to the will of the House, but De Freitas followed by stating he had not been consulted by anyone who proposed his name and stated his support for Lloyd.


    MPs then voted on the motion that Selwyn Lloyd take the Chair as Speaker, which was approved by 294 votes to 55. Lloyd was thus conducted to the Speaker's Chair by Charles Pannell and Dame Irene Ward.


    Speaker of the British House of Commons election, 1971 Wikipedia