John Bercow faces fresh allegations of bullying after ‘berating a stunned aide in an airport queue’

COMMONS Speaker John Bercow berated a stunned aide in an airport check-in queue, it was claimed yesterday.

Stunned passengers looked on as he flew into a rage at his private secretary over a travel documents mix-up.

EPA

John Bercow has been accused of screaming at his private secretary over a travel document mix-up[/caption]

Officials told of Mr Bercow’s “fiery temper” as he faced calls to step down over the bullying and sex pest row sweeping Westminster.

One said: “He has a short fuse. I’ve seen him storming down corridors, slamming doors and swearing.

“He can be quite scary when he loses it. He once hit the roof with a private secretary and humiliated her in front of a line of other passengers.”

A former Commons clerk who quit over bullying accused Mr Bercow of belittling her because he couldn’t lay his hands on an envelope.

Libby Bradshaw, who claims dozens of colleagues and friends were bullied, assaulted or abused, said: “When he was just a regular backbencher, he once screamed at me and called me a ‘little girl’ simply because he had been unable to find an envelope – which was exactly where I said it was, for the record.

PA:Press Association

Former Commons clerk Libby Bradshaw claims dozens of colleagues have been bullied by Bercow[/caption]

“These are not people who even know what the problem looks like, let alone capable of examining whether they are part of that problem.”

The fresh bullying allegations emerged as a former top official in Parliament claimed Mr Bercow is no longer fit to hold public office.

David Leakey, who retired from the powerful role of Black Rod in February, said he was being propped up by MPs for political reasons.

Writing in The Sun on Sunday today, he says: “Such abusive, arrogant and overbearing conduct would not be tolerated in any other institution.”

Rex Features

Bercow is already under pressure to resign from his role as Commons Speaker due to previous bullying claims[/caption]

He added: “Mr Bercow, along with a number of other MPs, seem to consider themselves entitled to behave like this and with impunity.”

The Speaker came under pressure after a report this week into allegations of bullying and sexual harassment in Parliament.Media

Dame Laura Cox, who carried out a six-month inquiry, concluded a “seismic” change is needed to rid parliament of the “disturbing” behaviour.

But Brexiteers claim Labour MPs want to keep him in place because he is a self-confessed Remainer – and had a “Boll**** to Brexit” sticker on his car.

MPs 'in a Mafia'

A MAFIA-style code of silence operates among MPs to stop reporting colleagues for inappropriate behaviour, say Commons staff.

One employee said: “Members are generally unwilling to criticise a fellow MP despite political differences.

 

“There is an esprit de corps meaning they always support each other.”

Another said: “MPs think the outside world does not understand or appreciate them.

“They think they must surround any member under attack with a wagon train of mutual support.”

Former Home Secretary Amber Rudd, also a Remainer, branded the support he is getting from anti-bullying campaigners as “outrageous.”

She said: “What are Labour MPs saying? That it’s more important for him to handle Brexit and the constitutional implications than to be held to account for bullying. That’s just wrong.”

Labour MP Kevin Barron also claimed Mr Bercow backed an amendment to changes which would have given the Standards commissioner more power to deal with MPs who brought the Commons into disrepute.

Yesterday the Speaker announced he would hand the chair of the Commons Commission to another member, Jane McCall, when it meets to discuss Dame Laura’s report this week.

The Speaker’s office dismissed Black Rod’s claims, saying: “These are old accusations with no credibility from an individual who few in Parliament would see as representing the cause of inclusiveness and modernisation. The Speaker is firmly focused on how to improve the House of Commons and will demonstrate that in the future as he has in the past.”

On Ms Bradshaw’s claim, his spokesman added: “The Speaker has absolutely no recollection of this alleged incident – and it’s not, in his experience, the sort of statement he would make.”


 


 

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