Backlash as bullying suspect John Bercow chairs bullying debate
The Speaker denies bullying a member of his staff who then took time off work with post-traumatic stress disorder.
John Bercow and other MPs faced fresh pressure over bullying allegations during a debate in the Commons today.
The Green Party’s Caroline Lucas triggered the debate following claims that officials working in Westminster have been subjected to mistreatment by MPs.
But Conservative MP James Duddridge, a longstanding critic of the Speaker, felt that something was not right in the Chamber:
With Bercow sitting in the chair as MPs dissected the problem, Duddridge asked: “Is it appropriate for Mr Speaker to remain in his place while there are allegations against him which he is trying to suppress using taxpayer-funded money through sending out letters through speaker’s counsel?”
The Speaker was named by the BBC’s Newsnight last week as having allegedly bullied a member of his staff, who then took time off work with post-traumatic stress disorder. He strongly denies the allegations.
Bercow - who famously displayed his snappy side to ITV’s Tom Bradby back in 2009 - failed to rise to the bait offered by his Tory colleague.