Back in 2014 John Bercow was the subject of a formal complaint about his behaviour, told one senior Commons employee to “f**k off” and subjected Commons staff to regular “temper tantrums”. At the time Guido reported how Bercow told the respected Clerk of the House Sir Robert Rogers to “f**k off” at a meeting, with Rogers ultimately taking the decision to leave his post after just two and a half years.
“It’s been very gruelling for him,” said one with a view of the action over the period. “Temper tantrums and childish behaviour every Monday morning. I’m not surprised he’s going, it’s exhausted him.
Another witness said: “I wouldn’t speak to a dog in the way Bercow spoke to X (a senior member of the hierarchy).”
Worth reading this from Michael Fabricant on the Rogers incident:
A well-known public figure, a distinguished lawyer and knight of the realm, said he was astonished to have witnessed an unprovoked outburst by the Speaker. He had gone to the Speaker’s official apartments at Westminster for a meeting with Mr Bercow when Sir Robert popped his cheery face round the door.
According to my dinner party companion, Mr Bercow shouted at Sir Robert: ‘Can’t you see I haven’t finished – just **** off!’
I asked my dinner companion if he was absolutely certain of this and he said, yes, it definitely happened and that he had been shocked by the language and the way he had humiliated the Clerk in front of outsiders, making a bad deal even worse.
At the time Guido wrote of Bercow’s anti-bullying hotline: “It’ll be interesting to see how many complaints it gets from the Speaker’s behaviour”. Last night Newsnight revealed Bercow’s behaviour towards his private secretary Kate Emms forced her out of the job. A Whitehall source tells Guido: “Kate is one of the most respected and trusted civil servants in the Cabinet Office. She is completely unimpeachable and not a flake”. Remember she was signed off sick after enduring Bercow – and he is essentially accusing her of lying with his denials. Level of surprise in SW1 that Bercow is a bad-tempered bully: Zero.