Labour MP says Andrea Leadsom should resign after John Bercow accused of calling her a ‘stupid woman’

Posted On: 
18th May 2018

A Labour MP has said Andrea Leadsom should resign from the Government and accused Tory whips of 'spin', following reports John Bercow called her a ‘stupid woman’.

John Bercow is said to have called Andrea Leadsom a "stupid woman"
PA Images

The Speaker - who has previously been forced to deny accusations of bullying - is said to have uttered the remark in the wake of Prime Minister's Questions on Wednesday.

According to eyewitnesses Mr Bercow was heard calling Ms Leadsom a "stupid woman", while he is also alleged to have described her as "f****** useless".

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The outburst came after he launched a thinly-veiled attack on the Commons leader, who is said to have looked on, following a complaint from Labour's Nick Brown over parliamentary procedure.

Labour MP Barry Sheerman however tweeted that it was the treatment of the House by Ms Leadsom that was “outrageous” and that Tory whips had “spun” the situation to make Mr Bercow look at fault.

His call for her to resign marks the latest turn in the increasingly bitter row between MPs who back Mr Bercow remaining in post and those who want to see him stand down.

It emerged on Wednesday that MPs on the Committee on Standards had voted 3-2 against launching a formal probe into claims of bullying made by two of his former parliamentary secretaries.

Meanwhile a number of anti-Bercow MPs told the Sunday Telegraph earlier this month that they would “throw the kitchen sink” at the Speaker – with a series of motions and interventions in a bid to unseat him.

Downing Street earlier said the alleged comments were “unacceptable” and that the Prime Minister would back an investigation into the incident if an official complaint is made.

Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson responded to Mr Sheerman, accusing him of "mansplaining".

A spokeswoman for the Speaker’s Office this morning did not deny that Mr Bercow had made the remarks.

She said: “Wednesday was an unusual and controversial day in how business was handled in the House by the government - and some strong and differing views were expressed on all sides on the subject.

"The Speaker treats his colleagues with respect and strives at every turn to facilitate the House of Commons."

A source close to Ms Leadsom told the Daily Telegraph: "Andrea is absolutely determined to see the independent complaints procedure up and running as soon as possible. As for Bercow’s terrible temper, it would be completely unacceptable to treat someone like that in any other walk of life."

Mr Bercow has faced allegations from former colleagues, including two private secretaries and a black rod of bullying behaviour. He denies the claims.