John Bercow signals his intention to stay as Speaker for 4 more years

You’ll have to fire me! Commons Speaker John Bercow signals his intention to stay in the job for four more years after calls for him to quit over bullying claims

  • Speaker John Bercow is accused of bullying three former members  of his staff 
  • Tory MP James Duddridge suggested he should quit the influential Commons job
  • But Mr Bercow signalled his intention to stay on until the next General Election  

John Bercow today signalled his intention to stay on as Commons Speaker for four more years – despite calls among some MPs for him to quit over bullying claims.

The MP has come under intense pressure to quit the high profile role after a string of his former staff accused him of bullying.

Tory MP James Duddridge raised the issue in the Commons today – suggesting to Mr Bercow that MPs should debate ‘who we want to replace you’.

But Mr Bercow, who denies the bullying claims, hit back signalling his intention to stay in the post until the next election which is not expected for another four years.

John Bercow (pictured in the Commons this morning)  today signalled his intention to stay on as Commons Speaker for four more years – despite calls among some MPs for him to quit over bullying claims

John Bercow made his comments as he hit back at Tory MP James Duddridge (pictured sitting on the green benches on the top left) raised the issue in the Commons today – suggesting to Mr Bercow that MPs should debate ‘who we want to replace you’.

Adopting a faux simile as he looked at his critic, the Speaker said he made it clear he planned to stay on in the post after the elction last June.

He said: ‘I very gently say to the honourable gentleman in terms that are very straight forward and which I know he will be fully able to understand, that after each General Election the proposition about the Speaker returning to the chair is put and it is the voted upon by the house

‘And the honorable gentleman will recall, I indicated my willingness to continue in the chair in June last year

‘That proposition was put in the House and it was accepted unanimously.

‘If you had wanted to oppose it you could have done…. but simply as a matter of fact I remind him he did not.’

His remark comes after several MPs broke ranks to call for him to resign from his role overseeing parliamentary debates.

Raising the issue this morning, Mr Duddridge said: ‘Given your manifesto commitment to go by the 22 June, can we have a debate about what we want from a Speaker, what type of Speaker we want, before we move to a secondary discussion about who we want to replace you.’ 

The growing clamour for Mr Bercow to go came after he was rocked by a string of bullying claims.     

Former Black Rod David Leakey (pictured left with Mr Bercow last year) has said staff were ‘terrified’ of the Speaker

Andrew Sinclair, the former Speaker’s Secretary, said he left his post in 2010 after he was subjected to angry outbursts, foul- mouthed tirades and mimicry by Mr Bercow.

He said was ‘gagged’ and stopped from speaking out about his time in the role as part of an £86,000 early retirement payoff. 

Former Black Rod David Leakey, who retired last year, has said staff were ‘terrified’ of the Speaker.  

Kate Emms took a job as Mr Bercow’s private secretary in May 2010 but left her role less than a year later in February 2011 amid claims she was bullied by the Speaker.

Her colleagues alleged that this was because of the behaviour of Mr Bercow after she told staff that she suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder.

Colleagues told Newsnight that she was undermined by Mr Bercow in a range of ways – and he seemed to shout at her a lot.

Mr Bercow denies all the allegations of bullying against him.

He has been reported to the parliamentary standards watchdog over the claims, but an investigation has yet to be launched.  

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