Now stub­born Mr Squeaker says he may quit next year

Daily Mail - - News - By Jack Doyle Ex­ec­u­tive Po­lit­i­cal Edi­tor

JOHN Ber­cow could fi­nally stand down as Speaker of the House of Com­mons as early as next year after ten years in the job, he has told friends.

The con­tro­ver­sial Speaker has come un­der pres­sure to quit fol­low­ing bul­ly­ing al­le­ga­tions from for­mer staff. His al­lies have sug­gested he is un­der pres­sure from his fam­ily to walk away but is de­ter­mined to go on his ‘own terms’.

A source told the Sun­day Times: ‘ His wife Sally and their chil­dren have grown tired of liv­ing in Par­lia­ment and have been urg­ing him to call it a day. But he has no in­ten­tion of let­ting any­one push him out of the job, so has in­di­cated that he will go on his own terms next year when he has served ten years.’

Last night crit­ics of the Speaker dis­missed the re­port, say­ing he has failed to ful­fil a prom­ise to quit after nine years.

Tory MP James Dud­dridge said: ‘ Ber­cow is get­ting friends to brief he will go next year. But why should we trust him given he ig­nores his own man­i­festo prom­ise when he be­came Speaker to go by June 22, 2018?’

MPs op­posed to the Speaker – or Mr Squeaker as he has been de­scribed – have compiled a dossier of his out­bursts in a bid to pile pres­sure on him, the Sun on Sun­day re­ported.

They are un­der­stood to be com­pil­ing tele­vi­sion footage of him mock­ing MPs in what they hope will prompt of­fi­cials to ex­tend the in­de­pen­dent in­quiry by Dame Laura Cox into al­leged bul­ly­ing by MPs to cover his be­hav­iour.

Down­ing Street has called for an in­ves­ti­ga­tion into his be­hav­iour while a group of Tory MPs have re­port­edly vowed to ‘throw the kitchen sink’ at him via a se­ries of Com­mons calls for him to stand aside.

Mr Ber­cow de­nies the claims made against him. His spokesman said: ‘The Speaker was elected by the House in 2017 for the course of the Par­lia­ment. In the event he has any­thing to say on his fu­ture plans, he will make an an­nounce­ment to the House first.’

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