A councillor has welcomed an MP's failed bid to become speaker of the House of Commons

Independent Loughton councillor, Stephen Murray, congratulated Mrs Laing on the high level of support she had mustered.

And while he said he understood her disappointed, he welcomed the results as it meant a chance for “a proper choice at the forthcoming general election.”

Epping Forest Guardian:

Independent councillor Stephen Murray sympathised with Eleanor Laing but ultimately welcomed the news of her failed bid to become speaker.

It is custom for parties not to field candidates against the speaker of the house at elections.

He said: “If Mrs Laing had been elected today as the new speaker, the Labour Party and the Liberal Democrats (and perhaps other parties) by long standing convention would almost certainly not have fielded candidates here on December 12.

“Denying all of us in Epping Forest a proper political choice at the ballot box, a choice we will now be able to exercise.”

The MP for Epping Forest made the final three vote for speaker of the house which saw Labour MP for Chorley, Sir Lindsay Hoyle, voted into the position after John Bercow stepped down.

In a statement on Twitter, Dame Eleanor Laing said: “I gave it my best shot, but it wasn’t meant to be this time. I’m proud to have made the final three in the #SpeakerElection today.

“Thank you to everyone who has supported me, including my family, friends and team.”

She also congratulated Lindsay Hoyle, saying: “We’ve worked together, as deputies, for six years and have been great friends. Proud of you!”

Dame Eleanor, who served as one of Mr Bercow's deputies since 2013, told MPs before the vote she wanted to end the "culture of bullying", adding: "This the 21st century for goodness sake, we need to escape from the overbearing and hierarchal structures that have made it all too easy for a culture of bullying to take route."