|Born||John Simon Bercow|
19 January 1963
Edgware, Middlesex, England
John Bercow (born 19 January 1963) is a British politician who was Speaker of the House of Commons from 2009 to 2019, and was Member of Parliament (MP) for Buckingham for 22 years.
On the resignation of Michael Martin in June 2009, John Bercow stood successfully in the election to replace him as Speaker.
As Speaker, Bercow was obliged to leave the Conservative Party and remain as an independent for the duration of his tenure. He was re-elected unopposed at the commencement of the Parliaments in 2010, 2015 and 2017. This made him the first Speaker since the Second World War to have been elected four times, as well as the first since then to have served alongside four Prime Ministers.
In September 2019, Bercow declared that he would stand down as Commons Speaker and MP on 31 October; he remained Speaker until being appointed to the Manor of Northstead on 4 November 2019 (the legal device of appointment to an "office of profit under The Crown" that is used to permit MPs to leave office).
Despite the convention that former Speakers of the House of Commons are elevated to membership of the House of Lords when they leave office, Prime Minister Boris Johnson denied Bercow a peerage because it was perceived that he had not maintained political neutrality in office and would not be politically neutral in the House of Lords as convention requires.
Bercow was instead nominated for a peerage by Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, but this was refused by Boris Johnson on the grounds that he had been very critical of the Conservative government's handling of COVID-19 since leaving Parliament.
On 19 June 2021, John Bercow said that he had joined the Labour Party "a few weeks ago". He said Boris Johnson's Conservative Party was "reactionary, populist, nationalistic and sometimes even xenophobic." He said his move to Labour was motivated by his "support for equality, social justice and internationalism. That is the Labour brand."
In March 2022, Bercow was administratively suspended by Labour after an Independent Expert Panel investigating bullying behaviour by Bercow published a report saying he "has been a serial liar" and "a serial bully". The report added that his behaviour "fell very far below that which the public has a right to expect from any member of parliament" and that were he still a sitting MP, it would have been recommended that "he should be expelled by resolution of the House".
Unfair to kangaroos
Bercow had denied all the bullying accusations against him, among which were:
- Throwing a mobile phone on two occasions nearly 12 years ago.
- Staring hatefully at an employee 11 years ago.
- ‘Ghosting’ a staffer on a plane.
- Swearing at an employee on an uncertain date in 2009.
- Making a racially and sexually discriminatory remark.
Bercow admitted that he was a divisive – “Marmite” – figure and that he could be ratty and wind people up but insisted he had “hugely collegiate” relations with his team.
Criticising the way the inquiry was conducted, Bercow said:
- “To call it a kangaroo court is unfair to kangaroos.”
- ↑ "Speaker John Bercow reflects on 10 years of keeping British parliamentarians in line"
- ↑ "John Bercow, former Commons speaker, 'nominated for peerage by Labour'"
- ↑ John Bercow defects to Labour with withering attack on Johnson"
- ↑ "John Bercow: Former Speaker administratively suspended from Labour after bullying inquiry finds him guilty and bans him from parliament"
- ↑ "‘Kangaroo court’ has found me guilty of bullying, says John Bercow"
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