North Down MP Lady Hermon was approached to stand as a candidate for House of Commons Speaker but turned the opportunity down, it today emerged.
Senior Labour Party figures asked her to consider the position but she declined saying that she wanted to dedicate her time to her constituency.
Today MPs are voting for a successor to Michael Martin who resigned over the expenses scandal.
Lady Hermon told the BBC it was a compliment to have been asked to stand. “It’s very flattering, it’s a great compliment but it just doesn’t suit my temperament and more to the point I happen to love my constituency.”
The MP added that the position would take up a lot of time.
“Whoever becomes Speaker, it is not just a five day a week commitment, it is 365 days a year, unofficial, official duties. I would like to see my constituency. I would like to see my children.”
However, Lady Hermon said she would be backing Labour's Margaret Beckett for the job.
“She is a parliamentarian to her core,” she said.
“She was the Leader of the House of Commons for a period of time and one of the great features that any speaker must have is to be unflappable in a crisis.”
“The House of Commons is very noisy and that is what I have noticed over the time I have been in the House of Commons — she is completely unflappable.”