Michael Martin first Commons speaker to resign in 300 years

May 19th, 2009 - 8:28 pm ICT by John Le Fevre  

Michael Martin England’s House of Commons Speaker, Michael Martin, has become the first holder of the exalted office to resign in more than 300 years as the British government continues to be rocked by the parliamentarians (MPs) expense scandal

As the person chosen to chair debates in the chamber, 63-year-old Mr. Martin, a former sheet metal worker with a background as a trade union official, instead, fueled disorder.

For almost a week England’s The Telegraph newspaper has revealed a continuing litany of articles detailing expense account rorting by government politician’s.

In February last year Mr. Martin hit the headlines when stories about allowances claimed by him and his wife Mary were published, and more recently he allowed police to search Tory MP Damian Green’s office without a warrant.

Mr. Martin announced he will step down in June, and came ahead of a motion signed by 23 MPs calling on him to resign was sitting on the order paper.

Mr. Martin has let it be known that he felt he was being undermined because he is Scottish and working-class, describing the attacks on him as, “an attack on every working-class person from Clydeside”.

Under new rules introduced in 2001 after Mr. Martins was elected to the position, the new speaker will be elected by secret ballot.

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