Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

John Bercow branded a serial liar and bully in scathing standards report

The former Speaker claims he's the victim of a vendetta.
The former Speaker claims he's the victim of a vendetta.

Former House of Commons speaker John Bercow serially abused staff and should be permanently denied a Westminster pass, a report has found.

The ex-MP was branded a “serial liar” as 21 bullying allegations were upheld against him in the investigation by the parliamentary standards commissioner.

Mr Bercow was accused of throwing a phone, swearing at civil servants and making sexually and racially discriminatory comments to a staff member.

But the former speaker refused to apologise as he claimed there was a “vengeful vendetta” against him.

The report concluded: “The House may feel that his conduct brought the high office of Speaker into disrepute.

‘Abuse of power’

“This was behaviour which had no place in any workplace.

“Members of staff in the House should not be expected to have to tolerate it as part of everyday life.

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

But a defiant Mr Bercow responded: “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.

‘Travesty of justice’

“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.

“This has been a protracted, amateurish and unjust process which would not have survived five minutes’ scrutiny in court. To describe what I have experienced as a kangaroo court is grossly insulting to kangaroos.”

Mr Bercow was accused of bullying former colleagues Lord Lisvane, Angus Sinclair and Kate Emms.

Mr Sinclair first raised the allegations against the former speaker in 2018.

The report also said: “It is for historians to judge whether the respondent was a successful reforming Speaker of the House of Commons.

‘No need to act as a bully’

“However, there was no need to act as a bully in order to achieve that aim. A great office can be filled forcefully and effectively without descending to such behaviour.

“The findings of the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards, which we have upheld, show that the respondent has been a serial bully.”

Civil service union general secretary Dave Penman said: “No remorse, no contrition, and willing to sacrifice the first independent process that investigates complaints, simply to save his own reputation.

“No wonder bullying flourished unchallenged under his time as Speaker.”

A Downing Street spokersperson said they hoped the findings would help others who have suffered from bullying to come forward.

They said: “The prime minister has spoken before about the fact that there is no place for bullying or harassment in Parliament, and MPs should always be held to the highest standards.

“We hope that today’s decision gives all those in Westminster the confidence to come forward and report their cases, and that they will be fairly heard.”

Already a subscriber? Sign in

[[title]]

[[text]]

More from the Press and Journal Scottish politics team

More from the Press and Journal