Shailesh Vara announced on Twitter this morning (Monday) that he had withdrawn from the contest as he doesn't believe he had "the numbers to win". Mr Vara said: "[I am] grateful to many MPs across the house who pledged support for me to be the next speaker. Sadly, I have concluded I don't have the numbers to win so as not to split the vote, I am withdrawing from the contest and will support Lindsay Hoyle. Thanks again to those who supported me." Mr Vara confirmed that he was running for speaker on September 13 after the current Mr Bercow, announced that he would step down at the next election, or on October 31, whichever was first. Mr Bercow had been the speaker since 2009 and MP for Buckingham since 1997. The new speaker will be elected by MPs in a secret ballot once they are given a list of candidates. If any candidate receives more than 50 per cent of the votes then they will automatically take the chair as speaker. If no candidate receives at least half of the votes, the candidates with the fewest votes, and those with less than five percent of the vote, will be eliminated. MPs then vote again and continue doing so until one candidate receives more than half the votes.