John Bercow says most staff have left him 'on amicable terms' amid fresh bullying row

Posted On: 
2nd May 2018

John Bercow has insisted that most members of staff who have left his employment have done so "on perfectly amicable terms" as he tried to contain a fresh bullying row.

John Bercow has been accused of bullying by two former aides.
PA Images

The Commons Speaker's comments came after a former aide claimed he was subjected to a string of angry outbursts, swearing and mimicry while working for him.

Angus Sinclair also said he was paid £86,250 in 2010 in a deal that required him to promise not to speak about his experiences.

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

A spokesman for the Speaker has vehemently denied the accusation by both former staffers.

Challenged on the claims in the Commons, Mr Bercow said: "I have a superb team of dedicated, effective and long-serving staff, five of whom have served me for a collective total of over 40 years. 

"I am also happy to confirm that the great majority of people who have left my service on perfectly amicable terms."

He also denied that any current or former members of his staff are "constrained by any agreements from talking freely and confidentially" to an inquiry which has been set up to investigate claims of bullying in Parliament.

Speaking to Newsnight, Angus Sinclair said: "There was one afternoon I was working at my desk and he came in and was absolutely furious about something... he asked for some information from another part of the House. It had been very slow coming and I'd prodded for an early resolution and he knew that but he held me responsible..."

He added: "There was a tirade of how I'd let him down and it was the worst thing... There was a lot of bad language and suddenly his mobile phone which he'd been holding was flung on the desk in front of me and broke into a lot of bits."

A spokesman for Theresa May said the allegations against Mr Bercow "should be properly looked into".

"The Prime Minister has been very clear from the start that there is no place for bullying or harassment in the workplace, including the Houses of Parliament," he said.

"The latest allegations are concerning and should be properly investigated. It is important to note that the Speaker denies the claims that have been made against him."

A spokesman for Jeremy Corbyn said: "These are extremely serious allegations. The detail of them need to be investigated."