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The UK general election took place on Thursday 4 July 2024. The new Parliament met on Tuesday 9 July 2024 for the election of the Speaker and swearing-in of MPs and Lords. The State Opening of Parliament and The King’s Speech will take place on Wednesday 17 July 2024.

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Speaker gears up cycle fanatics and their pupils

12 June 2018 (updated on 13 June 2018)

Image of UK Parliament portcullis

Keen bookworm John Bercow has given his support to three intrepid teachers who are set to take part in an epic 530-mile bike ride to encourage children to become regular readers and fitness fanatics.

Matthew Jerrams, Nigel Fox and Jemma Heckford – who all teach at Boscombe’s King’s Park Academy – plan to cycle from Broadstairs in Kent to Lands End in Cornwall at the start of the school summer holidays.

The trio hope their Read and Ride-A-Thon will raise awareness and funds to help update the primary school’s library.

The House of Commons Speaker, who likes to read detective novels in his spare time, caught up with the group after he gave a talk about his work and the role of Parliament to 86 pupils from the academy.

Mr Bercow took more than 25 questions from the Year 6 classes, who were eager to know what inspired him to become the 157th Speaker, whether he had ever lost his voice chairing debates and if his favourite word is "Order!".

Sarah Beer, King’s Park Academy’s vice principal, said of the event: "Thank you Mr Speaker for visiting our school - the children thoroughly enjoyed your informative, child-friendly talk and appreciated the time you took to listen to and answer all their questions. It linked fantastically to our school’s British Values. We look forward to visiting you in the House of Commons in the future."