We’re in the midst of a full-blown constitutional crisis. The Speaker has suddenly resigned at 2.30pm. Gord has summoned an emergency press conference at 5.30.
Speaker Michael Martin has told the House of Commons he will step down on Sunday 21 June 2009, amidst the row over his handling of revelations about MPs' expenses.
Mr Martin, who was one of 12 candidates for the post in 2000, did not indicate whether his resignation will trigger a by-election in his Glasgow North East constituency as he was, by convention, uncontested in the seat at the last election.
"Since I came to this House 30 years ago, I have always felt that the House is at its best when it is united," he said. "In order that unity can be maintained I have decided that I will relinquish the office of Speaker on Sunday 21 June. This will allow the House to proceed to elect a new Speaker on Monday 22 June. That is all I have to say on this matter."