Lifetime Ban From Parliament For Serial Bully John Bercow

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John Bercow banned from holding Commons pass and branded ‘serial bully’ by panel

Independent Expert Panel upholds 21 separate allegations against former Commons speaker

Former Tory and Commons speaker John Bercow has been handed a lifetime ban for holding a parliamentary pass after an inquiry concluded he was a “serial bully”.

The Independent Expert Panel upheld 21 out of 35 claims against the former Commons speaker and found his behaviour “so serious that he should never be allowed a pass to the Parliamentary estate; and that if he were still an MP it would have recommended expelling him from the House”, it said.

Mr Bercow was found to have bullied staff members by Kathryn Stone, the standards commissioner, after a career that saw him dogged by accusations of swearing at officials and throwing his mobile phone.

In its report published on Tuesday, the IEP said: “The findings of the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards, which we have upheld, show that the respondent has been a serial bully.

“His behaviour fell very far below that which the public has a right to expect from any Member of Parliament.

“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.

“His behaviour fell very far below that which the public has a right to expect from any Member of Parliament.

The IEP was tasked with producing its 89-page report after Mr Bercow appealed the conclusions of an inquiry by Kathryn Stone – the parliamentary commissioner for standards.

The commissioner had upheld 21 allegations from three former parliamentary staff relating to events between 2009 and 2015, including verbal abuse, displays of anger and “undermining behaviour” against his secretary Angus Sinclair.

“The respondent’s conduct was so serious that, had he still been a Member of Parliament, we would have determined that he should be expelled by resolution of the House. As it is, we recommend that he should never be permitted a pass to the Parliamentary estate.”

Ms Stone also upheld allegations made by Ms Kate Emms, a current member of the House staff, who had claimed Mr Bercow mimicked her, created an “intimidating and hostile environment”, and was responsible for “intimidating, insulting behaviour involving an abuse of power” towards her.

The arrogance of the man…

John Bercow
By 1986, the FCS had attracted so much bad publicity that Norman Tebbit, the Thatcherite Conservative Party chairman, shut it down. Former Speaker, John Bercow, was the last ever FCS chairman they campaigned to hang Nelson Mandela. LINK

In a shocking display of arrogance Mr Bercow, who stood down as Commons speaker in 2019 and denies the accusations, has previously denounced the investigation as “materially flawed” and hit out at the “amateurish and unjust process”.

“At the end of it, the panel has simply said that I should be denied a parliamentary pass which I have never applied for and do not want. That is the absurdity of its position.

“Don’t fall for the establishment spin that I have been banned for life. I can still attend debates with the help of a friendly passholder or go as a member of the public.

“All I can say is that 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. Add to that a dash of personal spite and you have some idea of the vengeful vendetta mounted against me.”

But the IEP sub-panel chaired by Sir Stephen Irwin said: “The findings of the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards, which we have upheld, show that the respondent has been a serial bully.

“Like many bullies, he had those whom he favoured and those whom he made victims. 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.

“His behaviour fell very far below that which the public has a right to expect from any Member of Parliament.

It added: “The ICGS Bullying and Harassment Policy was breached repeatedly and extensively by the most senior Member of the House of Commons.

“In all, 21 separate allegations were proved and have been upheld. The House may feel that his conduct brought the high office of Speaker into disrepute.

“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.”

In a further statement today, the former MP Mr Bercow said: “Parliament is supposed to be the highest court in the land. This inquiry, which lasted a ghastly 22 months at great cost to the taxpayer, has failed dismally.

“At the end of, the panel has simply said that I should be denied a parliamentary pass which I have never applied for an do not want. That is the absurdity of its position. Don’t fall for the establishment spin that I have been banned for life.

“I can still attend debates with the help of a friendly pass-holder or go as a member of the public.”

The former Commons speaker added: “All I can say is that 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.

“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.

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

“No remorse, no contrition and willing to sacrifice the first independent process that investigates complaints, simply to save his own reputation,” he added.

Downing Street added that it hopes the finding that Mr Bercow was guilty of bullying staff will encourage others at Westminster who suffer harassment to come forward.

A No 10 spokesman 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.

Will Bercow be next to join the scores of purged Labour members?

John Bercow starmer
Can Bercow remain a Labour Party member?

The disgraced former Conservative MP, who has since defected to Labour has now labelled the investigation “amateurish” claiming the complainants had been resisting his attempts to modernise parliament.

Jenny Symmons the GMB union representative for MPs and Lord’s staff reacted to the report, saying she welcomed its findings and told the Spectator: “This is the outcome we wanted; for him to be permanently banned from entering the Parliamentary estate. This shows real consequences for Members who have exploited their power and position to bully staff. Bercow isn’t the only person deserving of this treatment and he won’t be the last!

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