John Bercow investigation blocked by MP standards committee

The standards committee of MPs votes against an inquiry into the Speaker's conduct by three to two.

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John Bercow is asked in the Commons about bullying allegations against him

An investigation into allegations of bullying by Commons Speaker John Bercow has been voted against by a committee of MPs.

The standards committee voted by three to two that Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards Kathryn Stone should not hold the investigation.

It followed a complaint by an MP "in relation to the conduct of the Speaker".

Mr Bercow's office has rejected all the claims.

Responding to the standards committee's vote, his spokeswoman said: "The Speaker notes the committee's conclusions."

The Speaker's former private secretary, Angus Sinclair, has said Mr Bercow shouted and swore at him, and attempted to physically intimidate him.

He said the Speaker would undermine him in front of other staff, mimic him and, on one occasion, Mr Bercow smashed a phone on his desk.

A spokesman for Mr Bercow has said there is "no substance" to the allegations.

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John Bercow's former private secretary tells Newsnight the Speaker bullied him

After the allegations were aired on the BBC's Newsnight programme, Downing Street described them as "concerning" and said they should be properly investigated.

The standards committee ruled that the matter was within the remit of the commissioner, but decided that an investigation should not be initiated.

Under Parliamentary rules, the committee is consulted before the commissioner launches an investigation where allegations date back more than seven years.

"The committee would expect to authorise such inquiries only in exceptional circumstances," the rules state.

Minutes of the committee's meeting show that the three MPs opposing an investigation were Conservatives Sir Christopher Chope and John Stevenson, and Labour's Kate Green.

Gary Streeter (Conservative) and Labour's Bridget Phillipson were in favour of an inquiry.




Date: 16 May 2018 | Source: BBC

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