John Bercow’s most senior member of staff during his time as Speaker accuses him of BULLYING in blow to his hopes of a peerage – before he hits back at ‘curious timing of this intervention’
- Former chief Commons clerk Lord Lisvane filed a complaint against his old boss
- Lord Lisvane served as Bercow’s chief aide in early part of his time as Speaker
- He passed a dossier of allegations to parliamentary commissioner for standards
John Bercow was last night accused by his most senior official of bullying staff when he was Speaker.
In a damning intervention which could scupper Mr Bercow’s chances of gaining a peerage, former chief Commons clerk Lord Lisvane filed a formal complaint against his old boss.
Lord Lisvane, who served as Mr Bercow’s chief aide in the early part of his time as Speaker, passed a dossier of allegations to the parliamentary commissioner for standards.
According to The Times, they detail incidents in which Mr Bercow, pictured, was alleged to have bullied and humiliated staff, including some in which he used inappropriate language.
In a damning intervention which could scupper Mr Bercow’s, pictured, chances of gaining a peerage, former chief Commons clerk Lord Lisvane filed a formal complaint against his old boss.
The former Speaker is believed to have been nominated for a peerage by Jeremy Corbyn.
It came after the Government refused to do so in a break with precedent, citing the allegations of bullying as a reason.
Lord Lisvane, who as Robert Rogers, was clerk of the Commons for three years until 2014, is the most senior official to file a complaint.
Mr Bercow has always denied the bullying claims. Last night he said: ‘During the five years that we worked together, Lord Lisvane had ample opportunity to raise any accusations of bullying with me.
‘At no stage did he do so… the timing of this intervention is curious.’
All nominees for peerages are vetted by the House of Lords appointments commission.
Lord Lisvane, who as Robert Rogers, was clerk of the Commons for three years until 2014, is the most senior official to file a complaint
Mr Bercow has been facing allegations of bullying for some years.
His former private secretary, Angus Sinclair, broke a non-disclosure agreement to allege he had faced angry outbursts and obscene language from the former Speaker.
David Leakey, who served as Black Rod until 2017, said that Mr Bercow had shouted at him and acted in a way that was ‘by any definition bullying – it is intimidating, unreasonable, disproportionate’, and that he left other members of staff ‘fearful’.
Another aide, Kate Emms, was signed off sick after less than a year working in his office, which the BBC reported was connected to alleged bullying.
He has strongly denied all these claims and maintained that they are without substance.
Mr Bercow avoided an inquiry in 2018 into his behaviour. MPs blocked it on the grounds that allegations dating back more than seven years could be investigated only in exceptional circumstances.
The system has since been opened to all historical complaints against present and former MPs.
However, peers are exempt because they are subject to a separate complaints regime.