'Bullying' ex-Speaker John Bercow banned from Parliament for LIFE
‘Bullying’ John Bercow banned from Parliament for LIFE: Shamed former Speaker barred from Commons over appalling treatment of staff including sexual and racial discrimination – but vows to KEEP turning up
- The former Speaker of the House of Commons might never return to Parliament
- Mr Bercow faces multiple allegations of bullying behavior towards staff
- A report into the claims will be published today and could see him banned
- The former Tory MP has branded the inquiry ‘protracted, amateurish and unjust’
Former Commons Speaker John Bercow faces being banned from Parliament for life for horrific bulling of staff during his time in office.
The former Tory MP has been blocked from holding a Commons pass usually given to ex-politicians, after a catalogue of appalling behaviour against three aides during his decade in the chair.
An official investigation found that he threw a mobile phone at one, swore at officials and made a racially and sexually discriminatory remark.
The official censure handed down today also means he becomes the first Speaker of the House of Commons in modern history to be blocked from a peerage as a reward after standing down.
In a report published this morning, Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards, Kathryn Stone, found him guilty of 21 claims made against him relating to behaviour during his decade as Speaker from 2009 to 2019.
Parliament’s Independent Expert Panel (IEP) today branded him a ‘serial bully’ and recommended he be blocked from holding a pass, saying if he was still an MP he would face expulsion.
But in an astonishing 800-word rant, Mr Bercow blasted the decision, saying it was a ‘travesty of justice rooted in prejudice, spite and hearsay’ carried out by a ‘kangaroo court’.
And he vowed to circumvent the ban, saying he would continue to attend ‘with the help of a friendly passholder or go as a member of the public’.
John Bercow during his time as Speaker of the House of Commons. The former Tory MP could be banned from Parliament for life after the publication of a report into his behaviour tomorrow
Kathryn Stone (pictured), the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards, is set to publish her findings tomorrow. It is believed she will have found him guilty of 21 claims made against him relating to behaviour during his decade as speaker
‘All I can say is that the case against me would have been thrown out by any court in the land since it is based on the flimsiest of evidence, rooted in hearsay and baseless rumour, and advanced by old school dogmatists once intent on resisting change at all costs and now settling some ancient scores with me,’ he added.
‘Add to that a dash of personal spite and you have some idea of the vengeful vendetta mounted against me.
‘It is a travesty of justice and brings shame on the House of Commons.’
After a controversy-ridden decade as Speaker, former Tory MP Mr Bercow stood down in 2019, defecting to Labour last year.
At the centre of blistering parliamentary rows over Brexit, he became the first Speaker in 230 years not to be offered a peerage.
He was instead nominated by Jeremy Corbyn – and that was blocked due to the bullying probe.
Earlier this year, Mr Bercow branded the inquiry a ‘kangaroo court’ which was ‘protracted, amateurish and unjust’, as he took the unusual step of making Miss Stone’s findings public.
It is understood she upheld 21 out of 35 counts brought by Lord Lisvane, the former clerk of the Commons, and former private secretaries Kate Emms and Angus Sinclair.
Two claims brought by Lieutenant-General David Leakey, a former Black Rod, were rejected by the inquiry that has taken almost two years.
It was previously suggested in the Commons that Lord Lisvane may have left his role in 2014 in part because he was told to ‘f*** off’ by Mr Bercow at least once.
The former Speaker has consistently denied the claim, insisting two years ago: ‘For the record, I categorically deny that I have ever bullied anyone anywhere at any time.’
In an interview earlier this year, Mr Bercow admitted he was a ‘Marmite figure’, but criticised the investigation, declaring: ‘The whole process stinks’
‘Am I a stiff-upper-lipped Englishman? No. Am I a model of calm and stoicism and imperturbability at all times? No. Can I get ratty? Yes. Am I sometimes overexcitable? Yes. Did I handle every situation in the chamber as I should have? No. I’m flawed. I sometimes wind people up unnecessarily. But I had hugely collegiate relations with my team,’ he told the Sunday Times.
He added: ‘It is suggested that I stared hate-filled at an employee 11 years ago. Nine witnesses present at the meeting were not interviewed but I was judged guilty.
‘It is said that I ‘ghosted’ a staffer on an aeroplane. No, it was a night flight and I was asleep before addressing 300 people at a conference the next day.
‘I am falsely accused of swearing at an employee on an uncertain date in 2009. He names a colleague whom he told of the encounter. The colleague has no recollection of this,’ he added.
Mr Bercow said one complainant claimed he ‘made a racially and sexually discriminatory remark, which I would not dream of doing’.
He added he was ‘wrongly alleged to have thrown a mobile phone on two occasions nearly 12 years ago’.
He declined to comment today.
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