Report Brands Ex-UK Commons Speaker Bercow a ‘Serial Bully’ | World News


LONDON (AP) — Former U.K. House of Commons Speaker John Bercow is a “serial bully” who should never again be granted an access pass to Parliament, a standards panel concluded Tuesday.

The independent expert panel upheld earlier findings by Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards Kathryn Stone that Bercow had bullied members of his staff. It said he should never be granted a parliamentary pass, which gives access to the building for lawmakers, staff and journalists, and that if he was still a member of Parliament he would have been expelled.

Bercow became an international celebrity during Britain’s bruising political wrangles over Brexit as he oversaw fractious debates with bellowing cries of “Or-derrrr!”

His activist interpretation of the Speaker’s role and moves to allow lawmakers to challenge the government’s decisions made him a hero to opponents of leaving the European Union, a villain to Brexit advocates and a thorn in the side of the Conservative government.

He also angered some on the political right by saying in 2017 that President Donald Trump shouldn’t be allowed to address Parliament, an honor given to some of his predecessors.

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Bercow stepped down in 2019 after a decade as Speaker.

In its report, the panel said “it is for historians to judge whether the respondent was a successful reforming Speaker of the House of Commons.”

But it said he was “a serial bully” whose behavior “was 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.”

The panel upheld 21 allegations against Bercow by three current and former Commons staff members.

Bercow condemned the conclusions as a “travesty of justice” and said he had been subjected to a “vengeful vendetta.”

“This has been a protracted, amateurish and unjust process which would not have survived five minutes’ scrutiny in court,” Bercow said. “To describe what I have experienced as a kangaroo court is grossly insulting to kangaroos.”

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