John Bercow’s statement in full as he says to call bullying probe kangaroo court is ‘insult to kangaroos’

Report describes ex-Tory MP as ‘serial bully’

Tom Batchelor
Tuesday 08 March 2022 13:01 GMT
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John Bercow, the former Commons speaker, has criticised an investigation which found him guilty of bullying as "amateurish" and a "travesty of justice".

An independent expert panel upheld earlier findings by Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards Kathryn Stone that Mr Bercow had bullied members of his staff. It said he should never be granted a parliamentary pass, which gives access to the building for MPs, staff and journalists.

The report described the ex-Tory MP, who stepped down in 2019 after a decade as speaker and then defected to Labour, as a “serial bully” and “serial liar”.

Mr Bercow’s behaviour was said to be "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”.

But Mr Bercow dismissed the findings as “unjust” and said a “vengeful vendetta” had been mounted against him.

During his time as speaker, he was seen as a thorn in the side of the Tory government and their Brexiteer backers.

He also caused controversy when he said in 2017 that Donald Trump shouldn't be allowed to address parliament.

During his time as speaker, he was seen as a thorn in the side of the government over Brexit (UK Parliament/Jessica Taylor)

Here is his statement in full:

"Parliament is supposed to be the highest court in the land. This inquiry, which lasted a ghastly 22 months at great cost to the taxpayer, has failed it dismally.

"At the end of it, the panel has simply said that I should be denied a parliamentary pass which I have never applied for and do not want. That is the absurdity of its position.

"Don't 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.

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"All I can say is that the case against me would have been thrown out by any court in the land since it is based on the flimsiest of evidence, rooted in hearsay and baseless rumour, and advanced by old school dogmatists once intent on resisting change at all costs and now settling some ancient scores with me. Add to that a dash of personal spite and you have some idea of the vengeful vendetta mounted against me.

"It is a travesty of justice and brings shame on the House of Commons.

"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.

“None of the investigators is a lawyer and the commissioner overseeing them has no expertise whatsoever in the consideration of alleged bullying.

"Throughout, gossip from absent friends of the complainants has been treated as the absolute truth whilst eyewitnesses who challenged the allegations were described as 'not helpful' and discounted.

“The commissioner even presumed to make findings on matters about which I was never questioned."

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