We now come to the announcement of the results of the election of Deputy Speakers. Before I announce the results, I would like to thank the right hon. Members for North Thanet (Sir Roger Gale) and for Knowsley (Sir George Howarth) and the hon. Member for South West Devon (Sir Gary Streeter) for serving as temporary Deputy Speakers.
I will now proceed to read the results. The first to be elected is Dame Eleanor Laing, who is also the first ever woman to be elected Chairman of Ways and Means. [Applause.] No clapping, whatever we do!
I will now announce the next positions. Dame Rosie Winterton was elected First Deputy Chairman of Ways and Means, and Mr Nigel Evans was elected Second Deputy Chairman.
I congratulate those who have been elected, and look forward to working with the new Speaker’s team. As I said earlier, this is the first time a woman has been elected to the position of Chairman of Ways and Means, so it is an historic occasion for the House.
The results of the count will be made available in the Vote Office as soon as possible, and will be published online.
On a point of order, Mr Speaker. I just wanted to stand up in the Chamber, because it is my one opportunity to do so in very many years.
Let me, on behalf of all the candidates who took part in the election, thank the Clerks for the way in which they conducted it, and for the swift way in which they produced the results. Let me also thank all the other candidates for the courtesy with which the campaign—however short it may have been—was fought. And let me say to you, Mr Speaker, that you and I have worked very well together for a great many years, and I am honoured and delighted to be re-elected as part of your team. I know that you intend to do a lot to bring this place into the 21st century and restore faith in our democracy, and I look forward to doing all that I can to help you.