POLITICS
06/02/2020 13:20 GMT | Updated 06/02/2020 16:30 GMT

John Bercow Condemned By House Of Commons For 'Unacceptable' Behaviour

Authorities warn former speaker against publicly naming parliamentary staff in his autobiography without their permission.

The House of Commons has said that it was “unacceptable” for John Bercow to publicly name parliamentary staff in his autobiography without their permission.

Bercow is under pressure after being accused of bullying while serving as speaker.

He has been nominated for a seat in the House of Lords by Jeremy Corbyn and has dismissed the allegations as “total and utter rubbish”.

David Leakey, who served as the senior parliamentary official known as Black Rod, yesterday said it would be a “scandal” if Bercow was given a peerage.

Leakey, who in charge of the day to day running of the House of Lords, told the BBC yesterday that there were times Bercow “would fly into a rage” and “the red mist would descend”.

A spokesperson for the Commons said on Thursday that its staff had “a right to expect that their privacy be respected”.

“It is unacceptable to publicly name current or former staff without their prior knowledge or authority, especially for the purpose of financial gain or commercial success,” the spokesperson said.

“A crucial element of the work of House of Commons staff is to provide confidential, impartial advice to MPs.

“Breaking this confidentiality undermines this important principle and also places staff in a position from which they are unable to respond.

“Parliament’s behaviour code makes clear the standards of behaviour expected of everyone in parliament, whether staff, members of the House of Lords, MPs or visitors. There is zero tolerance for abuse or harassment.

“We strongly encourage anyone who has experienced bullying or harassment in parliament to submit a complaint via the independent complaints and grievance scheme.”

Bercow has also been accused of bullying by Lord Lisvane, who was clerk of the House.

ASSOCIATED PRESS

The former speaker told Sky News last night the allegations against him were “total and utter rubbish – from start to finish”.

In a separate statement, Bercow said the allegations against him came at a “curious” time as he seeks to become a peer.

He also attacked the government for not elevating him to the Lords after his retirement as speaker.

Bercow left the Speaker’s chair on October 31 and has been replaced by Lindsay Hoyle.