MPs pave way for John Bercow to face official investigation over serious bullying claims

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MPs last night paved the way for John Berow to finally face an official probe over serious bullying allegations made against him by former staff.

The House of Commons backed a change of rules to allow historical claims of bullying and sexual harassment to be investigated.

MPs have backed a rule shift for John Bercow to be officially probed over serious bullying allegations
PA:Press Association

Former Commons Leader Andrea Leadsom said the move was vital to holding alleged bullies like Mr Bercow to account because current rules would allow the Speaker to get a plum seat in the House of Lords and “get away with it”.

Currently only allegations that took place since the 2017 General Election can be probed.

Until now Mr Bercow has avoided a probe over claims he physically intimidated two of his former staff members.

Mr Bercow denies claims he bullied staff.

But MPs were criticised for failing to show-up to the debate on changing the rules.

Fewer than 30 MPs attended the debate on the Gemma White QC report into the treatment of MPs’ parliamentary staff, which concluded that bullying and harassment were a “necessary evil” in working in the building.


Labour’s Justin Madders said: “Perhaps we should reflect on the fact that staff are already saying to me that they’re concerned about the numbers of members here today.

“Perhaps it’s not sending out the right message about the importance that we should place on the way our staff are treated in this place, because this has happened right here under our noses in these buildings, in the corridors, in the offices.

“It’s like something from a bygone era. Staff feeling bullied and abused and most importantly feeling powerless to do anything about it.”

Commons Speaker Andrea Leadsom applauds the change in rules
Getty Images – Getty

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