Former Speaker John Bercow banned from holding Commons pass and branded 'serial bully'

Former Commons Speaker John Bercow has been handed a lifetime ban from holding a parliamentary pass after a panel found he was a “serial bully”.

The Independent Expert Panel (IEP) upheld 21 out of 35 claims against Mr Bercow and found his behaviour was so serious, if he was an MP he would have been kicked out of Parliament.

Mr Bercow was found to have bullied staff members by Kathryn Stone, the standards commissioner, after a career that saw him dogged by accusations of swearing at officials and throwing his mobile phone.

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Former Speaker of the House of Commons John Bercow will be banned from having a Commons pass

The ruling triggered Mr Bercow being administratively suspended from the Labour Party on Tuesday. He is under investigation by the party, with a decision on the future of his membership to follow.

In its report published on Tuesday, the IEP said: “The findings of the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards, which we have upheld, show that the respondent has been a serial bully.

“His behaviour fell very far below that which the public has a right to expect from any Member of Parliament.

“His evidence in the investigations, the findings of the commissioner, and his submissions to us, show also that the respondent has been a serial liar.

“His behaviour fell very far below that which the public has a right to expect from any Member of Parliament.””

Former Commons leader Dame Andrea Leadsom responded by saying Mr Bercow should be expelled from the Labour Party after he was found guilty of bullying allegations.

Mr Bercow, a former Conservative MP who defected to Labour, labelled the investigation “amateurish” and claimed the complainants had been resisting his attempts to modernise Parliament.

He said: “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.

“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.”

Mr Bercow added: “It is a travesty of justice and brings shame on the House of Commons.

“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.”

Mr Bercow served as a Conservative MP for 12 years until he was elected speaker in 2009. He stepped down from that role in 2019.

Mr Bercow will now be banned from getting a pass as a former MP, but would still be able to go into the Palace of Westminster as a guest or member of the public.

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