Former speaker John Bercow ‘categorically denies’ all bullying allegations

John Bercow has “categorically” denied ever bullying anyone, criticised the peer who filed a complaint, and attacked the Government for not elevating him to the Lords after his retirement as Commons Speaker.

His first strenuous denial of the latest allegations came on Thursday as Downing Street said the claims from Lord Lisvane are “very concerning” and should be “investigated thoroughly”.

Mr Bercow’s one-time most senior official as Clerk of the House has handed a dossier of allegations to the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards.

John Bercow
John Bercow

But the controversial former speaker dismissed the allegations as having come at a “curious” time as he seeks to become a peer.

Mr Bercow said that, since retiring, it has “become increasingly obvious that the Government has no intention of honouring the centuries-old convention that a departing speaker is promptly elevated to the House of Lords”.

“Indeed, it has been suggested to me that the Government actively seeks to block any other attempt to nominate me for membership of the upper house,” he continued in the statement.

“I have seen in the media that Lord Lisvane is formally complaining that I bullied staff. For the record, I categorically deny that I have ever bullied anyone, anywhere at any time.”