John Bercow saved as MPs block bullying enquiry into Commons speaker (News)


John Bercow has received a big increase in his battle to outlive as Speaker amid requires him to give up over bullying allegations.

In a setback for Tory MPs who need to take away him, a probe into claims that he bullied members of his workers has been blocked by senior MPs.

In a transfer instantly condemned by Mr Bercow’s enemies, 5 MPs on the Commons requirements committee voted three to 2 towards permitting Parliament’s watchdog to research the claims.

Mr Bercow is underneath rising strain to resign over allegations – which he denies – by two former personal secretaries, Angus Sinclair and Kate Emms, that he bullied them.

The vote towards an investigation got here after Tory MP Andrew Bridgen requested Parliament’s Requirements Commissioner Kathryn Stone to research whether or not Mr Bercow had damaged the MPs’ code of conduct.

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The commisioner sought the opinion of the requirements committee – made up of senior MPs and lay members from exterior parliament – about whether or not an investigation fell inside her remit.

The 5 MPs who voted all agreed she was entitled to research a declare underneath the Code of Conduct. However then a second vote, on whether or not to go forward with an investigation, went three to 2 in Mr Bercow’s favour.

:: Commons Speaker John Bercow battles resignation calls over contemporary bullying row

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John Bercow and David Leakey at the state opening of parliament in 2017
John Bercow and former Black Rod David Leakey on the state opening of parliament in 2017

Labour’s Bridget Phillipson and Tory Gary Streeter have been the MPs who backed an investigation, whereas Tories Sir Christopher Chope and John Stevenson and Labour’s Kate Inexperienced voted towards.

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Explaining the committee’s resolution, its Labour chairman Sir Kevin Barron, mentioned: “The parliamentary commissioner for requirements yesterday introduced two requests to the committee in reference to a criticism she has obtained from a member of the Home in relation to the conduct of the speaker.”

He mentioned the primary request was for an opinion on whether or not an investigation was inside her remit as a case referring to the MPs’ Code of Conduct which requires them to “conduct themselves in a way which can strengthen belief in parliament” and never deliver the Commons into disrepute.

Her second request was that, if the committee agreed that such an investigation was inside her remit, she ought to provoke it regardless that the alleged occasions befell greater than seven years in the past – one thing which might solely be authorised “in distinctive circumstances”.

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Sir Kevin – who would have had a casting vote within the occasion of a tie – added: “Accordingly, the commissioner has not been authorised to hold out an inquiry into this matter.”

He mentioned underneath the present guidelines, lay members of the committee didn’t have voting rights, nevertheless it was his private view that they need to.

Condemning the committee’s vote as “unprecedented”, Mr Bridgen mentioned: “Not solely am I not comfortable, I feel the job of Requirements is to guard and improve the popularity of MPs and Parliament and this resolution will additional diminish our standing within the eyes of the general public.

“What you’ve got is MPs defending an MP – the Speaker – from an investigation.

“This resolution is not going to take away the accusations that grasp over the speaker.”


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