Bullying report is squeezed out by Bercow
NoT only incandescent over his antiBrexit shenanigans, many MPs are also furious with Speaker John Bercow for curtailing a parliamentary debate on bullying.
Was it, they wonder, because he finds the subject rather awkward — having himself been subject to allegations that he bullied some members of his staff?
Two days before being accused of ripping up the Parliamentary rule book to curry favour with Remainer MPs last week, he presided over a series of ministerial statements and invited 157 MPs — almost a quarter of the commons — to speak.
The statements ranged from the NhS, to migrants crossing the channel and the plight of Britishiranian Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe who is in prison in Tehran.
as a result, there were only 35 minutes left to debate a report that found widespread bullying and harassment in Parliament and which called for a change in leadership of the commons. only four backbench MPs were able to speak — and then just briefly.
Dame eleanor laing, the Deputy Speaker, was clearly irritated, saying: ‘it is a great pity that we had urgent questions lasting for two hours and eight minutes that were somewhat repetitive, and that we then had statements lasting for three hours and two minutes that were also repetitive.’
For his part, Bercow has faced allegations — which he denies — that he bullied two former officials, plus a claim that he called commons leader andrea leadsom a ‘stupid woman’.
in the report on bullying following her inquiry, Dame laura cox, a former high court judge, had said: ‘i find it difficult to envisage how the necessary changes can be successfully delivered and the confidence of the staff restored under the current senior house administration.’
This was interpreted as a subtle way of saying ‘Bercow should stand down’.