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Thanks to the high profile of Speakers such as Betty Boothroyd, Bernard Weatherill and John Bercow, the Speakership of the House of Commons has evolved from an internal parliamentary office into one of the most recognised public roles in British political life. This historic role has not, however, been examined in detail for nearly half a century, a gap now filled by Matthew Laban's absorbing study. This book examines the role right up to the Speakership of John Bercow: the process of election, the changing powers and responsibilities, and the widely different personalities who have occupied the Speaker's Chair. While chairing the debates in the chamber remains at the heart of the office, a modern Speaker must also rise to the challenge of being a skilled administrator, diplomat and media personality.