Tory MP calls for 'safeguards' to prevent a future Commons speaker 'like John Bercow'

Michael Fabricant told the Commons John Bercow's behaviour as Commons Speaker cast a 'dark shadow' over Parliament

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There must be safeguards put in place to prevent a future Speaker of the House of Commons from behaving like John Bercow, Conservative MP Michael Fabricant has said.

MP for Lichfield Michael Fabricant.
MP for Lichfield Michael Fabricant.

The MP for Lichfield in Staffordshire told the Commons: “Two-and-a-half weeks ago, the Independent Expert Panel produced a report on the activities of John Bercow, where over 21 incidents of bullying of staff members of this House were proven.

“For eight years, this cast a dark shadow over this place. And when whistleblowers including myself tried to raise it in the chamber, we were shouted down.

“And indeed on one occasion, a former Labour leader of the House came up to me and told me it was inappropriate to even mention it in this chamber.

Speaker John Bercow calls the house to order in the House of Commons, London, after judges at the Supreme Court ruled that Prime Minister Boris Johnson's advice to the Queen to suspend Parliament for five weeks was unlawful.
Speaker John Bercow calls the house to order in the House of Commons, London, after judges at the Supreme Court ruled that Prime Minister Boris Johnson's advice to the Queen to suspend Parliament for five weeks was unlawful.

"I have to say, I’m slightly disappointed that since the report came out, we haven’t had a statement from the Leader of the House on this, and a statement in particular about what safeguards we can put in future when after you have left, and I hope you stay for a long time, Mr Speaker, I do.

“But if another unscrupulous Speaker, a serial liar, a serial bully, were to replace you, there must be something put in place to stop what happened last time. When are we going to hear some initiatives from our Leader of the House?”

Commons Leader Mark Spencer replied: “To be clear, there is no place for bullying or harassment in Parliament and MPs should be held to the highest standards.

“That’s why the Independent Complaints and Grievance Scheme (ICGS) was set up to improve the working culture within Parliament.

“I hope the decision of the ICGS gives all of those people in Westminster the confidence that if they come forward, their cases will be heard fairly, and those who commit such actions will be held to account.”