HOUSE of Commons Speaker John Bercow announced yesterday that he is to stand down after a decade in the role.

Commenting on the surprise statement, Stroud MP David Drew said: "I'm saddened by the announced resignation of John Bercow, a man I've long admired both professionally and personally.

"Over the past ten years he has done what he said he would, in bringing reform and supporting backbenchers to have a much more active role in debates.

"He went to Sudan with me in the early 2000s and after that became a good friend.

"He's a hard worker and a good debater, and he's been a really excellent Speaker under some very difficult circumstances.

"We will miss him in the House."

Mr Bercow has said he will stand down as speaker, as well as an MP, on 31 October, the same day Britain is due to leave the EU, unless an election is called before then.