St Helena Will Welcome Speaker Of The UK House Of Commons

The Rt Hon Sir Lindsay Hoyle MP is to make the first ever visit to St Helena by a Speaker of the UK House of Commons as part of his mission to give a voice, and a platform, to the UK Overseas Territories.

During his five-day visit to the island Speaker Hoyle will address a sitting of the Legislative Council, take part in a wreath-laying ceremony, and meet a range of different groups and businesspeople to hear about some of the challenges they face.

He will also hold discussions with young people on the island in the hope of encouraging the reinstatement of a St Helena Youth Parliament.

On his visit, Sir Lindsay said:

“It is a huge honour, and in my opinion long overdue, to be the first Speaker of the House of Commons to set foot on the beautiful island of St Helena, so I am delighted to accept the Governor’s invitation to visit.”

“I look forward to hearing about the difference the international airport is making to residents and the economy, and talking to small business owners and a cross-section of the community to discover what life on the island is like.”

“As a massive animal lover, and owner of a three-stone tortoise, I am also looking forward to meeting Jonathan, St Helena’s 192-year-old equivalent.”

Several events will take place to commemorate the Speaker’s visit to the island which is situated almost 5,000 miles away from the UK. These include a tree-planting ceremony at Francis Plain with Girl Guides and Scouts.

Announcing the visit, HE Governor Nigel Phillips said:

“We are honoured to welcome Sir Lindsay Hoyle to St Helena. This is the first time a serving Speaker of the UK House of Commons has visited the Island. The visit provides an opportunity to strengthen the bonds between the UK and St Helena legislatures and discuss how St Helena is responding to the current national and global context.” 

“It also allows us to showcase to Speaker Hoyle this remarkable island and its community.”

NOTE TO EDITORS:

The Speaker will visit St Helena from 13-17 February.

Sir Lindsay Hoyle is passionate about giving the British Overseas Territories (OTs) a voice and a platform in the UK Parliament, raising the issues that affect them at every opportunity, including at meetings with UK Ministers or high-profile events.

History was made in July 2021 when Sir Lindsay hosted an inaugural virtual meeting of 10 of the OTs that have Speakers or Presiding Officers, with a gathering crossing six time zones.

The first Commons and Overseas Territories Speakers’ Conference was held in London, followed by one in Anguilla in April 2023. The next gathering is set to take place in Turks and Caicos later in 2024.

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St Helena Government Communications Hub

Telephone: 22470
Email: kimberley.peters@sainthelena.gov.sh