MPs Vote for Catholic Speaker - Catholic Herald Comment On The New Speaker’s Romanism
From the Catholic Herald 27th November 2000
Dr. Ian R.K. Paisley
MPs elected the first Catholic Speaker of Parliament since the Reformation on Monday night.
Michael Martin, MP for Glasgow Springburn, defeated 11 rivals after a seven-hour ballot, winning by 370 votes to 8.
A staunch Catholic, he is well-known for his pro-life views and was also one of only six Labour MPs who voted against the lowering of the age of consent for homosexuals.
Julian Brazier, Conservative MP for Canterbury, said, ‘It’s welcome that another great office will be occupied by a Catholic. His appointment further extends the growth of ecumenical Christianity as the main religious presence in this country’.
Helen Jones, Labour MP for Warrington North said, ‘I’m sure Michael Martin will be an excellent speaker. This election has shown that we are becoming a more inclusive society and that having a faith isn’t a barrier to holding higher office’.
Philip Daniel, of the Catholic Union, said, ‘It’s a marvellous opportunity for a Catholic churchman to be in a very prominent position when we’ve lost our hereditary peers and at the moment the episcopacy is having a rough time because of sexual abuse and other things that are being thrown at them. Providence works in remarkable ways’.