Speaker of the House of Commons: A look back

4 - 10 July 2022

On Monday, the Speaker of the House of Commons, Sir Lindsay Hoyle marked Virgin Islands Day and Constitution Day, by flying the flags of the British Virgin Islands and the Cayman Islands outside Parliament.

The Speaker also presided over Chamber business including a statement by the Prime Minister on CHOGM, G7 and NATO Summits.

The Speaker also opened a Roots to Parliament display on sports.

On Tuesday, the Speaker celebrated Tynwald Day - the National Day of the Isle of Man today, by raising the Manx flag outside Parliament.

The Speaker also met with Rugby Football League CEO Ralph Rimmer, ahead of the announcement of the Speaker's Presidency of the Rugby Football League.

On Wednesday morning, the Speaker attended and spoke at the National Parliamentary Prayer Breakfast in Westminster Hall attended. During the event by over 700 guests. This was the first national prayer breakfast since 2019.

In the afternoon the Speaker chaired Prime Minister's Questions and further business in the Chamber.

The Speaker also welcomed to the House of Commons, the High Commissioner of St Vincent and the Grenadines, His Excellency Cenio Lewis.

During the evening, in Speaker’s House, the Speaker addressed guests from the International Ministerial Conference on Freedom of Religion or Belief: London 2022. The Speaker was joined by Fiona Bruce MP, Special Envoy for the Prime Minister on Freedom of Religion or Belief and Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon, Minister of State Foreign Commonwealth & Development Affairs.

On Friday, the Speaker lowered flags across Parliament to half-mast following the news of the assassination of Japan's former Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe.

During the week, the following business took place in the Chamber:

  • Statement: CHOGM, G7 and NATO Summits
  • Urgent Question: Standards in Public Life
  • Estimates Day
  • Statement: NATO Accession: Sweden and Finland
  • Urgent Question: Functioning of Government
  • Urgent Question: Prime Minister’s Meeting with Alexander Lebedev

The Speaker also presided over further business in the Chamber. Find out more about Chamber business which took place during the week.

Find out more about the Speaker's role in the Chamber.

4 July

Celebrating Virgin Islands Day and Constitution Day

To mark Virgin Islands Day and Constitution Day, the Speaker flew the flags of the British Virgin Islands and the Cayman Islands outside Parliament.

Opening of Roots to Parliament display

A Paralympian joined the Speaker of the House of Commons to open an exhibition to promote the upcoming Commonwealth Games. 

Georgie Bullen’s Goalball team came sixth in the London 2012 Paralympics after they were knocked out by Sweden in a golden goal at full-time. 

But now the partially-sighted Content Designer, who works in the Parliamentary Digital Service, has high hopes of competing at the Paris Games in 2024. 

Georgie, 28, who has a rare form of Macular Degeneration, says taking up the little-known sport, which is a fast-paced game played with an audible ball, helped her accept her condition. 

Her story and photo are among 20 others from MPs and staff in a special display in Parliament to coincide with the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games, which begin later this month. 

Opening the exhibition, which is encircled by a running track, Commons Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle said Georgie’s account was ‘inspirational, and proof of the power of good that sport can bring. 

"Not only is sport a great way to get active that is good for the mind and the body, but it also brings people, communities and nations together," said the Warrington Wolves, Bolton Wanderers and Lancashire County Cricket Club fan. 

"Hearing how Georgie used the game of Goalball to overcome adversity, but to also achieve Paralympian status, is incredible. 

"I now look forward to reading what sport means to the many other members of our parliamentary village."

Georgie was five-years-old when she was registered blind and "never felt sport was for people like me." 

"But that all changed when I was talent spotted at 14 and fast-tracked on to the GB Women’s Goalball team," she said. 

"Since then, my sporting career has taken me around the world and created some of my proudest moments, including competing in the London 2012 Paralympics. 

"Not many people have heard of our sport, so I am used to playing in front of a few hundred people in a major tournament.  

"But at the Paralympics, we had 7,000 spectators cheering us on – the wall of noise swallowed me up and it was incredible."

The experience also proved to be life-changing in other ways too - as during a break in competing, Georgie met her future partner, Marc Powell, a visually Impaired Paralympic Judo player, when they began chatting in a lift. The couple now live together in Cambridge. 

Georgie, who competes or trains with her Goalball team every other weekend, added: "As you can see, my story is proof that sport really does bring people together." 

The Commonwealth Games exhibition, which runs until 12 August, is the latest incarnation of Mr Speaker’s ‘Roots to Parliament’ initiative, which aims to celebrate the backgrounds and interests of MPs and staff who work in Westminster.


5 July

Celebrating Tynwald Day

The Speaker celebrated Tynwald Day - the National Day of the Isle of Man, by raising the Manx flag outside Parliament. The flag, which features three armoured legs with golden spurs upon a red background, is based on the Manx coat of arms, which dates back to the 13th century.

Rugby Football League appointment

During the afternoon, the Speaker met with Rugby Football League CEO Ralph Rimmer, ahead of the announcement of the Speaker's Presidency of the Rugby Football League.

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6 July

National Parliamentary Prayer Breakfast 2022

On Wednesday morning, the Speaker attended and spoke at a national prayer breakfast in Westminster Hall attended by over 700 guests including the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Speaker’s Chaplain and Canon of Westminster, Revd Patricia Hillas. This was the first national prayer breakfast since 2019.

The National Parliamentary Prayer Breakfast is an annual recognition of the contribution that Christianity makes to the national life of the UK. In 2022, the National Parliamentary Prayer Breakfast was chaired by Andrew Selous MP. The main speaker was Revd Les Isaac OBE, founder of Street Pastors and President of Ascension Trust, who addressed the theme of ‘Serving the Common Good’. For the first time ever, the physical event was livestreamed so that more people could attend.

Prime Ministers Questions took place - Click here to catch up with Wednesday 22 June's PMQs

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Welcoming the High Commissioner of St Vincent and the Grenadines

The meeting provided a good opportunity to discuss bilateral relations between the UK and St Vincent and the Grenadines, as well as the upcoming Commonwealth games.

International Ministerial Conference on Freedom of Religion or Belief: London 2022

The Speaker spoke at dinner for the International Ministerial Conference on Freedom of Religion or Belief: London 2022.

The conference brought together governments, parliamentarians, faith and belief representatives, and civil society to urge increased global action on freedom of religion or belief for everyone.

8 July

Lowering flags across Parliament to half-mast following the news of the death of Japan's former Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe

The Speaker commented: "I am shocked and saddened that Japan's former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has been assassinated - while out campaigning. It is an affront to democracy and devastating for the people of Japan. The thoughts of the House of Commons are with his family."