John Bercow rebuked by House of Commons chiefs for naming staff in autobiography


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Former speaker John Bercow has been rebuked by House of Commons chiefs for naming members of staff without their permission in his newly-published autobiography.

A spokesman for the House said it was “unacceptable” for Mr Bercow to identify current and former members of staff for “the purpose of financial gain or commercial success”.

Mr Bercow is currently facing fresh allegations of bullying by the former clerk of the House, Lord Lisvane, and the former black rod – the senior official in the House of Lords – Lieutenant General David Leakey.

He has strongly denied the allegations against him.

Mr Bercow has strongly denied bullying allegations (AP)

In a statement, the spokesman said: “House of Commons staff work incredibly hard to enable the effective functioning of our democracy and have a right to expect that their privacy be respected.

“It is unacceptable to publicly name current or former staff without their prior knowledge or authority, especially for the purpose of financial gain or commercial success.

“A crucial element of the work of House of Commons staff is to provide confidential, impartial advice to MPs.

Former Speaker John Bercow Calls Bullying Accusations ‘Utter Rubbish’

“Breaking this confidentiality undermines this important principle and also places staff in a position from which they are unable to respond.”​

The statement is a further setback for the former speaker in his campaign to secure a peerage after stepping down last year.

It had been customary for former Speakers to receive a nomination to the House of Lords.

The former speaker has since been nominated to the Lords by Jeremy Corbyn (AFP/Getty Images)

However, the Government declined to give Mr Bercow one amid claims they remain angry at the role he played in the Brexit debates

He has since been nominated by Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn.

Ministers have however said no one should be given a peerage while they face outstanding allegations of bullying and abuse.

In the Commons statement, the spokesman added: “Parliament’s behaviour code makes clear the standards of behaviour expected of everyone in Parliament, whether staff, members of the House of Lords, MPs or visitors. There is zero tolerance for abuse or harassment.

“We strongly encourage anyone who has experienced bullying or harassment in Parliament to submit a complaint via the independent complaints and grievance scheme.

“In addition, all current and former staff can access the employee assistance programme for emotional support.”

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