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John Bercow branded a serial liar and bully following investigation

John Bercow, the former speaker of the House of Commons, has been branded a “serial liar” and a “serial bully” who engaged in “marked abuse of power and authority,” following an investigation into his conduct whilst Speaker of the House.

Bercow came to widespread public attention, in both the UK and Ireland, during the Brexit negotiations. Bercow was widely perceived to have used his position as Speaker to attempt to frustrate British attempts to leave the EU, although Bercow himself claimed that he had always attempted to act as an impartial referee.

The Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards found in January of this year that Bercow had bullied and harassed at least three members of parliamentary staff, but Bercow appealed the results of that investigation to the House of Common’s Independent Expert Panel. The panel not only backed the initial findings of the Commissioner but went even further in describing Bercow’s behaviour and the punishment he should suffer due to it.

The report found that Bercow had engaged in verbal abuse; displays of anger; had sought to humiliate staff publicly; shouted at and mimicked staff, creating an intimidating and hostile environment, and subjected one member of staff to “ a sustained course of conduct …that involved repeated unfounded criticism of the complainant … both publicly and privately … often made at length and at volume and included derogatory inferences about [his] upbringing and background.”

The Panel found that Bercow had been “widely unreliable and repeatedly dishonest in his evidence [top the Panel]. He has attempted to defeat these complaints by false accusations of collusion and by advancing lies.” The Panel also noted Bercow’s “denials, lack of any remorse and repeated publicity in breach of the confidentiality of the process. The impact on all three complainants can be described as very significant: severe at the time and enduring.”

The Panel said that, had Bercow still been an MP, it would have “determined that he should be expelled by resolution of the House.” As Bercow is no longer an MP the Panel instead said he should be banned for life from entering parliament buildings.

Bercow resigned as Speaker in October of 2019.

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