John Bercow tells James O'Brien: "There's a campaign to stop me receiving a peerage"

19 February 2020, 11:32

John Bercow told James O'Brien that the recent bullying allegations levelled against him are part of a campaign to prevent him entering the House of Lords.

His former senior adviser Lord Lisvane submitted a formal complaint against him in January and the former Speaker said the issue should have been raised earlier.

"He had every opportunity if he thought there was misconduct against him or others to say so," Mr Bercow said, "as the person with the overall duty of care to the staff he not only had a right and opportunity to remonstrate at the time, or get others to do so on his behalf, he had a duty to raise those matters."

"The members of this little squad are trying to prevent me from going to the House of Lords," he said, "they are trying to use the grievance procedure to achieve an unrelated goal."

Mr Bercow has strongly denied all bullying allegations levelled against him during his time as Speaker.

James O'Brien speaks to John Bercow
James O'Brien speaks to John Bercow. Picture: LBC

He has also rejected claims there was a culture of fear or there were "regular blow-ups" during the period.

"For the bulk of the time I had a perfectly good relationship with the people who worked in the service of the House and worked for me.

"There were arguments from time to time about issues."

Mr Bercow said during his time as Speaker he went on the offensive when faced by hostility from the "bigot faction," that included parliamentarians, who were unwilling to consider change.

Labour nominated him for peerage after his own party parted from tradition and declined to do so.

He spent 10 years as Speaker before stepping down last year.