James O'Brien confronts John Bercow over bullying allegations

5 February 2020, 13:44

James O'Brien confronts former Commons Speaker John Bercow over allegations he bullied parliamentary staff and politicians, which he branded "preposterous."

Mr Bercow said the accusations are "total and utter rubbish" and he "utterly and unreservedly refutes them."

"There is no merit or substance whatsoever and one of the people who keeps taking to the airwaves to criticise me has frankly not the slightest idea what he's talking about," said the former Commons Speaker, referencing accuser ex-Black Rod David Leakey.

"He's in no position to make any such allegations. He didn't work for me, he's wasn't an employee of the House of Commons."

Mr Bercow shared that himself and Mr Leakey did have two altercations but until the latter retired from the House of Lords they got on "adequately."

Converse to Mr Leakey's allegations, Mr Bercow said he had a high number of positive and fruitful working relations and the accuser in fact had "no knowledge of my relation with House of Commons staff."

Accuser David Leakey (left) with Speaker John Bercow
Accuser David Leakey (left) with Speaker John Bercow. Picture: PA

"David Leakey and others are perfectly entitled to their views of my Speakership," said Mr Bercow, "what they cannot credibly do is accuse me of bullying of which they have not a scrap of evidence."

When coming up against entitled people who were used to having their say and having their way, they weren't used to and resented being confronted by a "reformed Speaker," he said.

James asked about the secretary whom which John Bercow allegedly bullied and why the member of staff had to sign a non-disclosure agreement, to which the Speaker said he had no awareness of it, what was in it and it was not stipulated by himself.

Mr Bercow admitted he was unsure if he will be accepted in to the House of Lords as is the convention for the Speaker.

"In this instance it's very obvious that there is an orchestrated attempt by a number of people to throw a spanner in the works, to throw as much mud at me as they think they can possibly do and hope that will provide the basis for turning me down."

James O'Brien's powerful assessment of Insulate Britain coverage

James O'Brien's powerful assessment of Insulate Britain coverage

'If not cancel culture, what're you going to call it?': James O'Brien points out 'problem' with Online Harms Bill

James O'Brien points out the 'problem' with the Online Harms Bill

'2000 children waiting longer' for adoption due to pandemic, says charity boss

'2000 children waiting longer' for adoption due to pandemic, says charity boss

Caller explains powerful escape from far-right because of James O'Brien's show

James O'Brien caller's powerful escape from Covid conspiracy rabbit hole

James O'Brien callers heap praise MPs for service to communities

James O'Brien callers heap praise on MPs for service to communities

James O'Brien's provocative reaction to Eton Covid clampdown

James O'Brien's powerful reaction to Eton's Covid lockdown

LBC listeners just had to react to Daryl's call

The moving James O'Brien call listeners said brought tears to their eyes

James O'Brien: 'What on earth is wrong with gender-neutral gear?'

James O'Brien: 'What on earth is wrong with gender-neutral gear?'

The GP was speaking to LBC's James O'Brien

'Shouting, screaming, spitting!': GP explains shocking daily abuse he faces

James O'Brien reflects on moment his view on slaver statues changed

James O'Brien reflects on the moment his view on slaver statues changed

The caller was speaking to LBC's James O'Brien

Caller explains stark reality he faces due to Universal Credit cut

James O'Brien: 'Project Fear is reality - now PM claims it's part of the plan'

James O'Brien: 'Project Fear is reality - now PM claims it's part of the plan'

'Liberty of motion': James O'Brien solves post-Brexit worker shortages

'Liberty of motion': James O'Brien solves post-Brexit worker shortages

James O'Brien reacts as ex-Brexit Secretary blames industry for driver shortage

James O'Brien reacts as ex-Brexit Secretary blames driver shortage on industry

'What should a woman do?' James O'Brien demands 'serious' advice following Sarah Everard trial

James O'Brien demands 'serious' advice for women following Sarah Everard trial

A female police officer said people should consider calling 999 if approached by a lone person claiming to be an officer

Met Police: Run away and call 999 if you feel in danger when stopped by lone 'officer'