John Bercow branded as 'serial bully' and liar by watchdog

A panel found Bercow's behaviour fell 'very far below' what the public has a right to expect from an MP.

Former Commons Speaker John Bercow banned from Parliament after report says he was a ‘serial bully’ Parliament TV

John Bercow has been banned from the UK Parliament after an investigation concluded he was a “serial bully” and a “serial liar”.

The Independent Expert Panel (IEP) said that Bercow’s behaviour fell “very far below” what the public has a right to expect from an MP.

Bercow, who served as Speaker of the House of Commons between 2009 and 2019, was subject to the probe by the IEP following a number of allegations being made against him.

The panel, which determines appeals and sanctions in cases where bullying complaints have been brought against MPs, upheld 21 allegations made against Bercow from three complainants.

They relate to the period between 2009 and 2014, with the complainants all having been staff in parliament at that time.

Bercow has been banned from holding a pass to parliament, but responded by saying that he has “never applied for” one and does not want one.

Following the conclusion of the inquiry, led by Parliamentary Standards Commissioner Kathryn Stone, Bercow called the investigation a “travesty of justice” which “brings shame on the House of Commons”.

Bercow appealed against the commissioner’s findings to the IEP, but the panel upheld her verdicts without exception.

In its report published on Tuesday, the panel said: “The findings of the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards, which we have upheld, show that the respondent has been a serial bully…

“His evidence in the investigations, the findings of the commissioner, and his submissions to us, show also that the respondent has been a serial liar.

“His behaviour fell very far below that which the public has a right to expect from any Member of Parliament.

“The respondent’s conduct was so serious that, had he still been a Member of Parliament, we would have determined that he should be expelled by resolution of the House.

“As it is, we recommend that he should never be permitted a pass to the Parliamentary estate.”

Bercow said people should not “fall for the Establishment spin that I have been banned for life”.

“I can still attend debates with the help of a friendly passholder or go as a member of the public,” he added.

The former speaker said the case against him “would have been thrown out by any court in the land”, as he claimed it was “based on the flimsiest of evidence” and “rooted in hearsay and baseless rumour”.

He suggested a “vengeful vendetta” had been mounted against him.

“It is a travesty of justice and brings shame on the House of Commons,” he said.

“This has been a protracted, amateurish and unjust process which would not have survived five minutes’ scrutiny in court. To describe what I have experienced as a kangaroo court is grossly insulting to kangaroos.”

He accused Stone of hiding behind parliamentary privilege to “duck scrutiny and legal challenge”.

In a statement, Stone said: “I am grateful to the Independent Expert Panel for their detailed and considered report regarding the conduct of Mr Bercow.

“Their report upholding my findings demonstrates my ongoing commitment to ensuring that the investigations under my oversight, and my subsequent decisions, are independent, impartial, thorough and fair.”

The claims were brought about by Lord Lisvane, the former clerk of the Commons, and private secretaries Kate Emms and Angus Sinclair.

In a statement issued on Tuesday, Ms Emms said she was “supremely glad to be vindicated by the report”.

“The impacts of the one and only genuinely horrible, undermining and consistently upsetting period of my career has spread into all areas of my life,” she said.

“Stress, anxiety and loss of confidence sent me home on sick leave and affected how I saw myself and how I felt I was seen by family, friends and colleagues.”

Ms Emms said the report concluded a “saga” involving “an intense period of bullying inflicted a long time ago” and “10 years of professional and personal rehabilitation”.

The “final straw”, she said, was Mr Bercow’s “unspeakably self-serving account in his memoirs”.

She added: “It is painful but gratifying to read such a comprehensive analysis with such clear and unequivocal conclusions.”

STV News is now on WhatsApp

Get all the latest news from around the country

Follow STV News
Follow STV News on WhatsApp

Scan the QR code on your mobile device for all the latest news from around the country

WhatsApp channel QR Code