The Speaker
Thursday, 13 June 2024 – 09:18

John Bercow To Quit As Speaker After Commons Bullying Report

 John Bercow has signalled he will stand down in the summer amid a row over a damning report into the handling of allegations of harassment and bullying in Westminster. 

The Commons speaker reportedly told friends that he would quit his post in June or July after a decade in office.

Mr Bercow originally intended to leave after nine years but he said it was his intention to see out the Brexit process and quit in 2019.

The news comes after a damning report on the failure of high-level figures in Parliament to deal with bullying of staff in Westminster.

Dame Laura Cox’s report commended a culture in which abusive behaviour was “tolerated and covered up”, prompting calls for Mr Bercow to quick right now.

Speaking in the Commons, former Tory cabinet minister Maria Miller told Mr Bercow a “complete change in leadership” was needed at the top of the Parliamentary authorities “including you”.

One of Mr Bercow’s critics, Tony Andrew Bridgen, said his announcement was a “pre-emptive strike to head off calls for him to go immediately” and another, James Duddridge, said it was a “smokescreen” and the speaker was “not fit” to lead an overhaul of Commons working practice.

When he took the job in 2009, Mr Bercow said it was his intention to quit by June of this year, after nine years in the chair.

He has since said he means to stay on and see Parliament through the process of Brexit, which is due to conclude with the UK’s exit on 29 March 2019.

Mr Bercow, a former Tory MP who represents Buckingham, has denied claims he bullied two of his former private secretaries – claims which MPs chose not to investigate earlier this year.

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