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Bullying is a problem Westminster would rather weaponise than solve

One of many extra cussed criticisms levelled at Westminster through the years is that generally MPs makes selections on issues that, within the regular world, are determined by others. Whether or not or to not give themselves a pay rise, for instance.

Such criticisms might even be misplaced however they won’t have wholly been allayed by Home of Commons Speaker John Bercow chairing a debate into allegations of bullying in opposition to Home of Commons Speaker John Bercow.

The current allegations at John Bercow are that in 2010, his behaviour in the direction of a member of his workers, Kate Emms, was so disagreeable that she was signed off work sick after which transferred elsewhere.

Bercow, who commonly reminds MPs that they’re “auditioning to be a statesman”, is then understood to have had Emms fairly actually painted out of an official portrait of himself, through which Emms had been seated at his aspect.

The longer standing, and certainly not current allegations in opposition to Speaker John Bercow are that he’s a fairly unbearably pompous human being. On Monday afternoon, allegations each new and outdated got here collectively in what the Harvester Restaurant dessert menu used to described as “A Magical Twist of the Two.”

Because the Chief of the Home Andrea Leadsom answered an pressing query on these precise bullying allegations, Speaker’s head rose and fell in a grandiose nodding movement imbued with all of the studied subtlety of a fairground pirate ship trip. In a single second Speaker was inclining his neck as if checking the rafters for pigeons. Within the subsequent so arduous was his chin pressed into his chest you possibly can be forgiven for imagining he was taking part in his personal jowls as an accordion.

Bercow has denied the allegations in opposition to him – the portray particularly, even whether it is plain that Emms doesn’t seem in it.

However what’s plain is that Bercow has enemies on this place. Such is the inevitable consequence of a political life that has drifted from the intense proper of the Conservative Celebration to be a reasonable Labour member in all however title.

James Duddridge was fast to his toes to ask whether or not it was “acceptable” that Bercow be chairing this debate himself. Bercow briefly stopped nodding to permit Leadsom to say it was vital that the “entire home” be seen to behave.

What can also be plain is that Westminster has a bullying downside, and it’s a downside that can be far tougher to resolve for so long as it exists as a proxy by means of which to settle different scores.

Duddridge has been attacking Bercow for years. As have others. That he ought to be the primary instantly to care a lot about bullying arguably speaks larger volumes about Duddridge than Bercow. 

On Sunday night time, the Labour Celebration introduced its Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary Debbie Abrahams had “stood apart” whereas it investigated a “office difficulty” regarding her. Neither they nor she has mentioned what it’s about.

Abrahams then introduced she had not “stood apart” of her personal volition, and as a substitute mentioned in assertion: “My remedy by sure people within the Chief’s Workplace over the past 10 months has been aggressive, intimidating and wholly unprofessional.

“My remedy within the final week has proven a bullying tradition of the worst sort.”

On each counts, we might know the reality in the end. We might not. What seems plain in each circumstances is that anyone someplace has been the sufferer of bullying and intimidation of 1 sort or one other. However it’s a downside that too many MPs seem to need to weaponise, as a substitute of remedy.

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