Bercow dismisses claims he ‘brutalised’ parliamentary staff as ‘utter rubbish’

Ex-Commons Speaker John Bercow has dismissed as "total and utter rubbish" claims he "brutalised" parliamentary staff.

The former MP said David Leakey, who served as Black Rod until 2018, did not know what his relations were like with his clerks, amid allegations of bullying.

Lieutenant General Leakey said last month that he would submit a dossier to the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards outlining the "intolerable rudeness and explosive behaviour" of the ex-Commons speaker.

He told Sky News that Mr Bercow "brutalised staff in the House of Commons and elsewhere, and I include myself in that".

Responding to the comments, Mr Bercow told the broadcaster: "Total and utter rubbish – from start to finish...

"First point is that David Leakey didn't work for me, he wasn't employed by me, he wasn't an employee of the House of Commons.

"He worked in and was the protocol officer of the House of Lords. He is in absolutely no position whatsoever to comment on my relations with my parliamentary colleagues, of which he is completely and utterly ignorant.

"He doesn't know what my relations were with my clerks. He has absolutely no intelligence on those matters whatsoever.

"What we have got here is somebody who left the House, who is thrashing about, desperate to remain relevant, popping up at every turn, trying to make himself seem very important, very centre stage, very at the heart of things in the way that I went about my work."

Allegations surfaced in 2018 of Mr Bercow bullying two former private secretaries, Angus Sinclair and Kate Emms. Mr Sinclair accused the speaker of "over-the-top anger", shouting, swearing and intimidation.

Lt Gen Leakey was among those who made allegations at the time and called for Mr Bercow to consider his position.

Mr Bercow left the Speaker's chair on October 31 and has been replaced by Sir Lindsay Hoyle.