John Bercow 'to stand down as Speaker next year' after decade in the role

Posted On: 
13th May 2018

John Bercow has told friends that he will stand down as Speaker next year after a decade in the role, it has been reported.

John Bercow has faced growing pressure following bullying allegations against him
PA Images

Mr Bercow has been under pressure to consider his position amid allegations from former parliamentary staff that he bullied them.

The Speaker, who has served in the role since 2009, said in the run-up to his election in 2009 that he would quit the post after no longer than nine years – leaving 22 June of this year as his deadline.

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However a source close to Mr Bercow to him told the Sunday Times: “His wife Sally and their children have grown tired of living in parliament and been urging him to call it a day.

“But he has no intention of letting anyone push him out of the job, so has indicated that he will go on his own terms next year when he has served 10 years.”

Downing Street has already called for a full investigation into his conduct in the role, while a group of Tory MPs have reportedly vowed to “throw the kitchen sink” at him, through a series of Commons calls for him to stand aside.

Furthermore, backbenchers opposed to Mr Bercow have compiled a dossier of the Speaker’s outbursts in a further bid to pile pressure on him, according to the Sun on Sunday.

The paper says his critics are collecting TV footage of him mocking MPs, in what they hope will prompt officials to extend the independent inquiry by Dame Laura Cox into alleged bullying by MPs to cover his behaviour.

Angus Sinclair, a former parliamentary secretary to Mr Bercow, 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.

Meanwhile his successor, Kate Emms, claimed he undermined and shouted at her, eventually leading to her being signed off sick.

And last month David Leakey, who served as Black Rod for seven years, told PoliticsHome that the speaker’s behaviour “risks bringing Parliament into disrepute”.

Mr Bercow denies the claims made against him.

His spokesman told the Sunday Times: "The Speaker was elected by the house in 2017 for the course of the parliament.

"In the event he has anything to say on his future plans, he will make an announcement to the House first."