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Lord McFall of Alcluith is next Lord Speaker

21 April 2021 (updated on 21 April 2021)

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The House of Lords has elected Lord McFall of Alcluith as the fourth Lord Speaker.

New Lord Speaker

Lord McFall of Alcluith will take up office as Lord Speaker on Saturday 1 May.


Lord McFall was elected by members of the House of Lords for a five-year term


The Clerk of the Parliaments announced the result in the chamber at the start of business on Wednesday 21 April. The Lord Chamberlain, Lord Parker of Minsmere, notified the House that the Queen confirmed the House's choice.

Baroness Evans of Bowes Park, Leader of the House of Lords, responsible for expressing the House's collective feelings on formal occasions, congratulated Lord McFall following the announcement.

Lord McFall of Alcluith

Lord McFall became a member of the House of Lords in 2010. He has served as Senior Deputy Speaker since 2016, overseeing work to restructure Lords select committees and to develop new procedures for hybrid working during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Lord McFall said:
'I am humbled to have been chosen by my colleagues to serve as the next Lord Speaker and I am honoured to be taking over the reins from Lord Fowler, who has achieved so much during his term of office.

As a House we face some fundamental challenges, the most immediate being how we return safely to Westminster in greater numbers once the current restrictions are relaxed, while harnessing the technical and procedural innovations that have enabled us to operate so differently over the past year. The huge restoration and renewal programme for the Palace is entering a critical phase while the digital transformation of Parliament will also need to gather momentum in the years ahead.

The valuable and often unheralded work of the House of Lords and its members contributes to improving the lives of millions of people, but I know we need to do more to tell our story and to explain the value that we bring.

As Lord Speaker, I stand ready to play my part in meeting the challenges that lie ahead. I want the Lords to be a vibrant, outward-facing legislature that reaches out as widely as possible across all parts of the United Kingdom.'

Lord Fowler

Lord McFall's election follows the annoucement in February by the current Lord Speaker Lord Fowler that he would step down from the role.

Role of the Lord Speaker

The Lord Speaker:

  • chairs business in the House of Lords chamber
  • plays a key role in the Lords Administration
  • acts as an ambassador for the House in the UK and abroad
  • represents it at ceremonial occasions.

The Lord Speaker is politically impartial. 


The Constitutional Reform Act 2005 ended the Lord Chancellor’s combined role as head of the judiciary, a member of the government and Speaker of the House of Lords. In 2006 the House held the first election for a Lord Speaker.

The first thee members elected to the office of Lord Speaker are:

Image: UK Parliament