Lindsay Hoyle says he 'won't be undermined' by Johnson
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Speaker of the House Sir Lindsay Hoyle has been the MP for Chorley in Lancashire since 1997, and prior to his selection as Speaker, he was a member of the Labour Party. Sir Lindsay may have been destined for a role in Government if it hadn’t been for a fall out with the former Prime Minister Tony Blair over the overseas territory Gibraltar.
Why did Lindsay Hoyle fall out with Tony Blair?
In 2002, Mr Blair sought to hand over partial control of the overseas territory Gibraltar to Spain, in a joint governance agreement and was set out as Government policy for a while.
Some Labour MPs were apparently furious with the former Prime Minister for putting Gibraltar on the table, including the current Speaker of the House.
Sir Lindsay reportedly argued with Mr Blair over the deal, according to the Europe Minister at the time Peter Hain.
The row apparently ruined Sir Lindsay’s chances of having a ministerial role or making it into the cabinet – but the Speaker does not regret this.
When asked, he said: “Absolutely not. I still think it was the right thing to do.”
On his differences with the former Prime Minister, he said: “I’m not anti-Tony; he made us electable and won three times.
“But there are principles and promises you don’t break.”
Mr Hain said in his 2017 memoir that Mr Blair was “contemptuous” towards the desire of Gibraltar residents wanting to remain aligned with Britain.
But regardless of his contempt, Spain eventually vetoed the deal, and a referendum in Gibraltar found that 98 percent of residents wants to remain under the rule of the UK anyway.
Since 2006, Gibraltar has control of most of its own affairs, but defence and foreign relations are managed by the UK Government in Westminster.
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What are Lindsay Hoyle’s links with Gibraltar?
Mr Hoyle is currently the President of the All-Party British Gibraltar Group in Parliament.
His father, Doug Hoyle, who sits in the House of Lords, is the Treasurer.
Sir Lindsay has previously said Gibraltar “always held a special place in my heart.”
He continued: “Not only have I, and my father Doug, had a long association with Gibraltar, but it is one of the UK’s overseas territories to which we owe a great duty of care.
“I want to reinvigorate our relationships with the overseas territories and show them how important they are to us in Westminster.
Regardless, the relationship between the Speaker and Gibraltar have remained positive over the years.
Sir Lindsay was appointed Chancellor of the University of Gibraltar in 2020.
And when he became Speaker in 2019, a Gibraltar flag was gifted to him by the country’s UK representative.
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