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Speaker John Bercow accused of ‘sexist’ and ‘aggressive’ language towards female minister


John Bercow, the Commons speaker, has been accused by a minister of “sexist” and “overly aggressive” language in the direction of her within the newest of regarding allegations levelled towards him.

Claire Perry, the power minister, mentioned she had written to Mr Bercow concerning a conflict between the pair within the Commons and that she feared he had a “girl downside”.

She claimed Mr Bercow had been “fairly irascible” when asking her to offer extra transient solutions to questions from MPs throughout a debate in Parliament on Tuesday.

Her determination to go public with the grievance follows a high-profile row involving the Speaker last month after he was accused of referring to Andrea Leadsom, the chief of the Commons, as a “silly girl”.

Mr Bercow can be beneath investigation after plenty of accusations that he has behaved inappropriately in the direction of colleagues and workers, however he has strongly denied any wrongdoing.

In her letter to the Speaker, revealed in The Solar, Ms Perry mentioned: “Personally, over time I’ve grown used to your occasional irascible outburst directed at me when I’m on the despatch field.

“Nevertheless, throughout BEIS oral questions in the present day, you used a tone and language to admonish me for giving over-long solutions that appeared each overly and aggressive and notably sexist.

“Your feedback about me being ‘dilated’ have particularly triggered remark – in fact you will have misspoken, therefore my try to lighten the temper with a reference to the final time I used to be dilated, however this solely provoked an additional outburst of anger.

She continued: “I’m not alone in these considerations, certainly I’ve been approached by greater than a dozen members of the Home in the present day, each women and men, authorities and opposition, who’ve expressed shock and dismay at what they perceived to be your demeaning remarks and behavior in the direction of me.”

Ms Perry added that given Mr Bercow’s remarks in the direction of Ms Leadsom final month, she feared a “sample rising” the place he’s “discovering it more and more onerous to work together respectfully with feminine MPs on the federal government benches”.

“At a time once we are coping with an endemic downside of bullying and violence – each bodily and verbal – towards ladies within the UK and elsewhere, it’s not acceptable to have a presiding officer of our valuable Home of Commons who seems to have a ‘girl downside’,” she added.

A spokeswoman for the speaker’s workplace: “Throughout query time yesterday, the Speaker was attempting to maneuver enterprise alongside forward of the a lot anticipated debate on the EU (Withdrawal) Invoice. He merely urged the minister to offer a ‘transient reply … no dilation’ – in different phrases, he was asking Ms Perry to not communicate at size. It’s a time period he has used many occasions earlier than.” 

In a letter to Ms Perry, the speaker added: “Whereas respectfully – I don’t settle for the factors made, maybe it will be good to satisfy for a ‘clear the air’ cup of tea as quickly as potential?”

Shortly earlier than the publication of Ms Perry’s letter, the Commons serjeant-at-arms mentioned Mr Bercow had been the victim of a “witch-hunt” by disgruntled former workers looking for to discredit him.

Kamal El-Hajji mentioned present Commons workers had been united of their perception that the accusations had 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 workers 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 workers members or ex-colleagues attempting to settle outdated scores of some type.”


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