A former employee of John Bercow claims today that he was the victim of violent rages at the hands of the Speaker, in a series of extraordinary allegations about the Speaker’s conduct. Speaking to Guido, the respected senior former staff member in Bercow’s office said:
“If I was asked was I ever hit? I’d say yes.
If I was hit by bits of a mobile phone he smashed in one if his rages? Yes.
Did I witness him telling untruths to accuse people of wrongful behaviour? Yes.
Was I sworn at? Very regularly.
I witnessed catastrophic losses of temper. The rages were extraordinary. Arms flailing. The loss of control.”
Would this person go on the record at a select committee?
Therein lies a problem. For Bercow has sewn up all relevant committees (who says procedure isn’t important).
The Public Administration Committee is chaired by the Speaker’s friend Bernard Jenkin.
Procedure is chaired by Charles Walker – the Speaker’s official candidate for chair.
Political and Constitutional committee is Graham Allen who keeps an effigy of the Speaker in a candle-lit niche on his bedroom.
The committee to be established on Wednesday’s Motion Governance of the House? Its remit won’t stretch to the Governance of the Speaker’s office.
Serving employees are too cowed to complain officially. There is no constitutional check or balance on the powers of the Speaker.
We are seeing what medieval power does to a person. Machiavelli is a far more certain guide to the Speaker’s behaviour than Nolan’s Seven Principles of Public Life.
In this age of accountability how does the Speaker get called to account?