The Father of the House of Commons is the title given to the longest-serving male member of the Georgeland House of Commons. In theory the title belongs to the longest-serving member overall, as women were not entitled to vote before the 1920s. To date, the longest-serving member of the house has always been male. There is also a Mother of the House which is the longest-serving woman. The Father of the House's only duty is to preside over the Commons during the election of a Speaker. As Speakers are always predetermined by the majority party, this job is merely a formality. Before 1990, the Father of the House recieved a higher salary than other members - this has since been changed. The Father of the House is always a backbencher. If a minister or the Speaker are the longest-serving member, they are not the Father of the House, and the position goes to the longest-serving backbencher.
List of Fathers of the House of Commons
- Sir Alan Guthrie Aston (Conservative) 1891-1896
The first Parliament was elected in 1891. All members of this parliament had equal terms of service. Aston was appointed Father of the House through virtue of being the first member sworn in, the swearings-in being conducted alphabetically.
- Robert Bourke (Labour) 1896-1915
Bourke was the alphabetical first among the group of original MPs remaining in 1896.
- Sir Robert Mackie (Conservative) 1915-1925
Of the four remaining original MPs, Mackie was the alphabetical first of the two backbenchers in 1915.
- Sir Peter Glass (Conservative) 1925-1930
Sir Peter Glass was the last remaining member of the first Parliament.
- Norman Walker (Labour) 1930-1934
- Aaron Lawler (Labour) 1934-1938
- Jonathan Hackett (Labour) 1938-1940
- Jackson Hart (Conservative) 1940-1944
- Thomas Lessing (Conservative) 1944-1949
- Harry Byrnes (Labour) 1949-1955
- Robert Stanley (Conservative) 1955-1960
- Howard Makepeace (Conservative) 1960-1962
- George Miller (Conservative) 1962-1970
- Peter Brothers (Labour) 1970-1974
- Tom Baines (Labour) 1974-1977
- Joe Roberts (Labour) 1977-1979
- Nigel Pearce (Conservative) 1979-1987
- Ted Stack (Labour) 1987-1991
- Allan Duggan (Conservative) 1991-1994
- George Hirsch (Labour) 1994-1999
- Stephen Cole (Conservative) 1999-2007
- Alan Holmberg-Weidler 2007-