Ken Clarke says John Bercow is victim of 'witch-hunt' over bullying row

Posted On: 
18th October 2018

John Bercow is the victim of a "witch-hunt" and should not be removed as Speaker over the Commons bullying row, Ken Clarke has said.

Ken Clarke is Parliament's longest-serving MP.
PA News

The veteran Conservative MP said there was "nothing that justifies" Mr Bercow's replacement in a damning report into harassment and abuse of Parliamentary staff.

The Speaker has faced calls to stand down after the results of Dame Laura Cox's inquiry were published earlier this week.

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It accused Parliamentary bosses of allowing a "disturbing" culture of abuse to develop in Westminster which was "actively" covered up.

Dame Laura said the entire Commons management team be replaced - which was widely interpreted as a call for Mr Bercow to quit after 10 years as Speaker.

But speaking on Newsnight, Father of the House Mr Clarke said: "If you listen to the judge who did this report there is nothing that justifies the removal of John Bercow. I’m not in favour.

"We have to have a witch-hunt a week in the modern media. It’s all nonsense removing Bercow. The one way in which he is a very good Speaker he does let Parliament have its say, he does make government accountable

"I have never known a more pathetic Parliament. The Parliament has so far failed to exercise any real influence over events. That’s why you have referendums - to neutralise Parliament."

Mr Bercow has reportedly told friends that he will stand down as Speaker next summer.