Lords Speaker says John Bercow should be investigated over bullying
Commons Speaker John Bercow faces fresh pressure as head of the Lords says he SHOULD be investigated over bullying claims
- John Bercow has faced calls to quit over claims he flew into rages at his staff
- Lord Fowler says the Commons Speaker should be investigated over allegations
- MPs blocked an official probe into allegations of misconduct by the Tory MP
- Mr Bercow strenuously denies any wrongdoing as House of Commons Speaker
Commons Speaker John Bercow is facing fresh pressure as the head of the Lords said he should be investigated over claims he bullied his staff.
Mr Bercow has faced a string of claims by former employees who say he flew into ‘explosive’ rages which terrified his staff. He strenuously denies the claims.
But MPs blocked moves for him to be investigated by Parliament’s Standards Commissioner.
In an interview with The Daily Telegraph, Lord Fowler – Mr Bercow’s counterpart in the Lords – said he would launch a probe if the allegations related to the Lords.
Lords Speaker Lord Fowler (pictured) says John Bercow should be investigated over claims he bullied staff
He said: ‘It is a matter for the Commons. But if a similar thing happened here there would be an investigation into the individual.’
What are the claims of bullying and bad behaviour made against John Bercow?
John Bercow has been hit by a number of bullying claims, all of which he denies. Here are the allegations:
Andrew Sinclair, the former Speaker’s Secretary:
Said he left his post in 2010 after he was subjected to angry outbursts, foul- mouthed tirades and mimicry by John Bercow.
He said was ‘gagged’ and stopped from speaking out about his time in the role as part of an £86,000 early retirement payoff.
David Leakey, former Black Rod:
Rod David, who retired last year, said staff were ‘terrified’ of the Speaker.
Kate Emms, John Bercow’s former private secretary:
She took a job as Mr Bercow’s private secretary in May 2010 but left her role less than a year later in February 2011 amid claims she was bullied by the Speaker.
Her colleagues alleged that this was because of the behaviour of Mr Bercow after she told staff that she suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder.
Colleagues told Newsnight that she was undermined by Mr Bercow in a range of ways – and he seemed to shout at her a lot.
He also criticised Mr Bercow’s decision to bar Donald Trump from addressing Westminster Hall when he visits Britain in July.
He said the US president could instead address the Royal Gallery, which is under his authority.
He said: ‘You can’t just disregard him. If we start that the number of state visitors will be cut down. It is not in our national interest to snub the US.’
Mr Bercow has faced a growing clamour to quit his role presiding over debates in the House of Commons over the bullying claims.
Scotland Yard is ‘assessing’ a complaint that the Commons Speaker could have committed misconduct in public office.
A member of the public has now asked the Met Police to consider whether Mr Bercow’s conduct could amount to ‘abuse of the public’s trust in the office holder’.
The complaint highlights allegations that have surfaced over recent months.
They include Angus Sinclair, who left his post as Speaker’s Secretary in 2010 after receiving a payment of £86,250, saying he was the victim of angry outbursts, foul- mouthed tirades and mimicry.
Former Black Rod David Leakey, who retired last year, has said staff were ‘terrified’ of the Speaker.
MPs on the standards committee sparked anger last week by refusing a request from parliament’s commissioner Kathryn Stone to investigate them.
An inquiry by a judge into the culture at Westminster will also not consider the specific accusations against the Speaker.
And Mr Bercow sparked fresh anger a fortnight ago when he allegedly called cabinet minister Andrea Leadsom a ‘stupid woman’ during a Commons debate.
John Bercow (pictured) has faced a string of claims by former employees who say he flew into ‘explosive’ rages which terrified his staff. He strenuously denies the claims
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