Ex-Speaker John Bercow Banned From UK Parliament Over Staff 'Bullying' Probe
07:07 GMT 08.03.2022 (Updated: 21:39 GMT 18.10.2022)
© AP Photo / Frank AugsteinFormer British Parliamentary speaker John Bercow
© AP Photo / Frank Augstein
In January 2020, Lord Robert Lisvane, who served as Clerk of the House of Commons under John Bercow, submitted a formal complaint to the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards, where he alleged that the British politician had bullied his staff.
Former Speaker of the UK House of Commons John Bercow has been banned from holding a House of Commons pass following an independent probe into bullying claims that were made against him by three staff members.
Previously, the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards, Kathryn Stone, found then-Tory MP Bercow, who stood down as Speaker in 2019 and defected to Labour in 2021, guilty of 21 allegations made against him, Bercow himself told the Sunday Times.
They pertain to the time he held the post of speaker from 22 June 2009 until 4 November 2019. Lord Robert Lisvane, who served as Clerk of the House between 2011 and 2014, submitted the formal complaint believed to centre on bullying to the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards in January 2020.
Allegations were also brought in by private secretaries Kate Emms and Angus Sinclair. The ex-Speaker had also faced other accusations of bullying during his time in office, vehemently denying them all.
John Bercow, ex-MP for Buckingham who now works as a commercial speaker, lecturer and University Chancellor, in response to the allegations, slammed Lord Lisvane as having had "ample opportunity" to raise the issues in question during their time working together, adding:
"At no stage did he do so, even though he became Clerk of the House - the most senior official. The timing of this intervention is curious."
At one point it was claimed in the Commons that Lord Lisvane left his role in 2014 in part after being told to “f*** off” by Bercow. The politician who became the first Speaker in 230 years not to be offered a peerage amid the bullying probe slammed the inquiry as “materially flawed”, arguing that most of the evidence against him was “hearsay”.
“I resent massively my reputation being put through the wringer on the basis of a protracted, amateurish and unjust process,” stated Bercow, 58
As he rejected the findings of the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards, Bercow told the BBC on Sunday in January 2022:
“I don’t say that I’m calm and imperturbable, I don’t say I’m never over-excitable, I don’t say I never get irritated. What I do say, with absolute and earnest insistence, is that I never bullied anybody.”
“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 was quoted as saying by the Sunday Times.
© AP Photo / Kirsty Wigglesworth / Speaker of The House of Commons John Bercow speaks at concert where The German Bundestag and British Parliament choirs performed together to commemorate WW1, in the House of Commons, in London
Speaker of The House of Commons John Bercow speaks at concert where The German Bundestag and British Parliament choirs performed together to commemorate WW1, in the House of Commons, in London
© AP Photo / Kirsty Wigglesworth /
He had earlier declared the entire process a 'Kangaroo court', vowed to appeal, and suggested he had generated ill-will towards him by attempting to modernise the way the Commons works as Speaker, seeking to “bring about change against very change-resistant forces”.