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Thu, 1 October 2020

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John Bercow 'planning 10 years as Speaker' despite bullying allegations

John Bercow 'planning 10 years as Speaker' despite bullying allegations
2 min read

John Bercow is planning to stay on as Speaker for another year despite allegations of bullying against him, it has emerged.

According to The Sun, the Speaker has told friends that he wants to do 10 years in the job before stepping down.

Mr Bercow became Speaker in 2009, and at the time said he would remain in post for nine years.

But in a move which is likely to infuriate his critics on the Tory benches, it is claimed he will stay in the role until mid-2019.

Mr Bercow is under increasing pressure after two of his former parliamentary secretaries accused him of bullying.

Angus Sinclair claimed he was subjected to a string of angry outbursts, swearing and mimicry while working for the Speaker, and was paid £86,250 when he quit in 2010 in a deal that required him to promise not to speak about his experiences.

Mr Bercow was previously alleged to have shouted at and undermined Mr Sinclair's successor, Kate Emms, eventually leading to her being signed off sick.

A spokesman for the Speaker said he denied the allegations.

In a further blow for the Speaker, PoliticsHome revealed how a former Black Rod had said his angry outbursts were “unworthy of someone in such public office".

He said: “On one occasion he quite suddenly erupted in a rage, banging the table and being extremely and personally rude to me, including calling me an anti-Semite. He did apologise to me for that specific remark afterwards, but not for his other highly personal insults, and it is intolerable.”

Mr Bercow’s spokesman said: “Mr Speaker refutes all the allegations levelled by Mr Leakey.”

Downing Street has suggested that an inquiry into bullying by MPs should investigate the claims against Mr Bercow.

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