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Bullying allegations against John Bercow a ‘witch hunt’ by disgruntled former staff, senior Commons official says


John Bercow is the sufferer of a “witch-hunt” over allegations he mistreated employees, a senior Home of Commons official has stated.

Kamal El-Hajji, the Serjeant-at-Arms, stated bullying claims towards Mr Bercow have been a results of “beforehand disgruntled employees members” making an attempt to “settle scores”.

The Speaker is below stress over plenty of allegations that he behaved inappropriately in direction of colleagues and workers. He has strongly denied any wrongdoing.

Mr El-Hajji stated present Commons employees have been united of their perception that the accusations have been a part of a “witch-hunt”, together with what he known as “article after article within the each day newspapers containing hypothesis and accusations concerning the Speaker’s code of conduct and the allegedly ‘unprofessional’ manner that he treats employees and colleagues working in Parliament”.

He wrote in The Home journal: “On account of a substantial lack of proof supporting these allegations, it appears clear to me that there’s a witch-hunt towards him, whether or not it’s coming from beforehand disgruntled employees members or ex-colleagues attempting to settle previous scores of some type.”

He stated he had mentioned the problem with different Commons officers, who he claimed have been united of their assist for Mr Bercow.

He stated: “I’ve mentioned these allegations at size with quite a few colleagues and we share the identical view — we really feel that there’s a witch hunt occurring attempting to discredit Mr Speaker.”

Two of Mr Bercow’s former personal secretaries have publicly accused him of mistreating them. 

Angus Sinclair, who held the submit between 2009 and 2010, accused the Speaker of “over-the-top anger”, together with events on which he stated he had been shouted at, sworn at and mimicked.

Mr Sinclair’s successor, Kate Emms, can also be reported to have made complaints. She left her job after simply 9 months and stated she suffered post-traumautic stress dysfunction.  

David Leakey, who held the place of Black Rod for seven years, additionally claimed he had been the sufferer of ““insupportable” rudeness and “explosive” anger by the hands of Mr Bercow.

However Mr El-Hajji, who’s the primary BAME particular person to carry the submit of Serjeant-at-Arms, praised Mr Bercow for his efforts to extend variety in Parliament.

He stated controversy over his appointment as Serjeant-at-Arms in 2015 meant the previous few years had “not been very straightforward”.

He stated: “It definitely felt like there have been a variety of sad individuals due to my appointment, and the one viable rationalization I can consider is that I’m from an ethnic background.

“The assist and steerage that Mr Speaker has confirmed me since I began might be one of many essential elements behind why I’m nonetheless fulfilling this very prestigious position at the moment.

He added: “Parliament has by no means in its historical past loved the inclusion and variety that it does at the moment, and that is because of Mr Speaker’s drive to make Parliament a spot for expertise, no matter race, gender, non secular beliefs, incapacity or every other form of discriminatory issue.”

“I felt it is vital to face up for what is correct and to point out assist and solidarity to somebody who has finished such an excellent deal for Parliament and for the nation.”

Some MPs had known as on Mr Bercow to resign over the allegations. Nonetheless, others succeeded final month in blocking an inquiry by the Parliamentary Commissioner for Requirements.


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