John Bercow denies ‘bullying’ former private secretary

John Bercow
John Bercow

The Buckingham MP and Speaker of the House of Commons John Bercow is facing calls to stand down after being accused of “bullying behaviour” by his former private secretary.

If Mr Bercow, who strenuously denies the allegations, was to leave his role it may trigger a by-election in our Buckingham constituency, meaning that residents could vote for Labour, Conservative or Liberal Democrat for the first time since 2005.

This is because the parliamentary tradition of the Speaker’s role dictates that no major party stands against them at election time.

Aylesbury Vale district councillor Llew Monger says the chance for all parties to stand in Buckingham would be “not before time,” should Mr Bercow be forced to resign in the wake of recent bullying allegations.

While it is currently unclear whether Mr Bercow’s resignation would indeed trigger a by-election, Councillor Monger of the Liberal Democrat party keenly anticipates the opportunity, saying: “I look forward to it.”

The bullying allegations come from Angus Sinclair, who worked for the Speaker for approximately one year between 2009 and 2010.

He has alleged in interviews with national media that he received a payment of £86,250 upon leaving his role, explicitly in return for signing a non-disclosure agreement.

However, a spokesperson for the speaker said: “Mr Speaker strenuously denies that there is any substance to any of these allegations,” and in response to specific questions asked by this paper, denied the existence of a non-disclosure agreement.

It has been widely reported that Prime Minister Theresa May said that she is “concerned” about the allegations and has demanded a proper investigation.

Councillor Monger insisted: “He must resign if the inquiry shows any impropriety on his part.”

Story by Sam Dean

sam.dean@jpress.co.uk

@Sam_BTT