‘Serial bully and liar’ John Bercow is banned from the Commons

Tory MP recalls John Bercow's 'appalling' behaviour as speaker

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His behaviour when he was Commons Speaker was so bad he has now been banned from holding a parliamentary pass for life. He would have been expelled if he was still an MP, the Independent Expert Panel said. The group, which determines sanctions in cases where bullying complaints have been brought against MPs, upheld all 21 findings of the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards, Kathryn Stone.

Bercow, who was Speaker from 2009 to 2019, had appealed against her conclusions after she investigated complaints by three of his staff.

But the IEP said: “The findings of the Parliamentary Commissioner, which we have upheld, show that the respondent has been a serial bully…

“His evidence in the investigations, the findings of the commissioner, and his submissions to us, show also that the respondent has been a serial liar.”

The allegations were made by Lord Lisvane, the former clerk of the Commons, and private secretaries Kate Emms and Angus Sinclair. The panel said it has “no doubt” that they were telling the truth.

Mr Sinclair made notes about some of the incidents, including Bercow calling him “f***ing stupid”.

On one occasion there was “spittle coming out of the mouth and arms being waved about. The anger was uncontrolled, and the complainant said he was afraid that someone might be thumped,” the report said.

On another occasion involving Mr Sinclair, Mr Bercow showed an “amazing display of temper in my office, in which he ordered me to stay seated, so he was standing over me, and then threw the mobile phone right in front of me on my desk and it burst into hundreds of bits and I could feel them hitting me.

“It was the most violent, extraordinary display of temper.”

Ms Emms said: “The impacts of the one and only genuinely horrible, undermining and consistently upsetting period of my career has spread into all areas of my life”.

The IEP found bullying and harassment rules were “breached repeatedly and extensively by the most senior member of the House of Commons.

No person at work, however senior, indeed particularly such a senior figure, should behave in this way. This was an abuse of power.”

Bercow, 59, married to former TV personality Sally, said: “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.

“It is a travesty of justice and brings shame on the House of Commons.”

But Dave Penman, general secretary of the FDA union which represents senior civil servants, said bullying had “flourished unchallenged” under Bercow.

Downing Street said it hopes the panel’s findings will encourage others who suffer harassment to come forward.

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