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Ex-Speaker John Bercow accused of threatening court action to thwart probe into his alleged bullying

Ex-Speaker John Bercow is accused of threatening the House of Commons with court action to thwart probe into his alleged bullying

  • Mr Bercow is said to have warned he will seek a judicial review to block the probe
  • MPs said it would mean the ex-Speaker being pitted against Sir Lindsay Hoyle
  • But Commons sources say Mr Bercow’s action would be against Kathryn Stone, the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards

Former Speaker John Bercow was last night accused of threatening the Commons with court action to thwart an investigation into alleged bullying.

Mr Bercow is said to have warned he will seek a judicial review to block a probe into claims against his conduct when he was in charge of the House.

MPs said it would raise the extraordinary prospect of the former Speaker being pitted against his successor, Sir Lindsay Hoyle.

But Commons sources say Mr Bercow’s action would be against Kathryn Stone, the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards.

Mr Bercow is said to have warned he will seek a judicial review to block a probe into claims against his conduct when he was in charge of the House

The Mail on Sunday revealed last week that Mr Bercow had now joined the Labour Party, a move that came as a surprise to many Labour MPs.

However, this newspaper has been told that one of Sir Keir Starmer’s own Shadow Cabinet members – Shadow Attorney General Lord Falconer – has been advising the ex-Speaker over the allegations.

Under the Commons’ new anti-bullying regime, the standards commissioner never confirms whether an MP or an ex-MP is under investigation.

But well-placed sources insist that an investigation into Mr Bercow’s conduct has at least been attempted in line with a rule change that allowed ex-MPs to be probed.

This newspaper has been told that one of Sir Keir Starmer’s own Shadow Cabinet members – Shadow Attorney General Lord Falconer – has been advising the ex-Speaker over the allegations

This newspaper has been told that one of Sir Keir Starmer’s own Shadow Cabinet members – Shadow Attorney General Lord Falconer – has been advising the ex-Speaker over the allegations

However, those sources say that Mr Bercow – who has repeatedly denied bullying staff – has threatened to seek a judicial review.

One source said last night that the ex-Speaker was arguing on a technicality that he could not be investigated under the Commons’ Independent Complaints and Grievance Scheme. 

He said it revolved round the fact that Mr Bercow no longer had a pass to the Parliamentary Estate, which he was entitled to as a former MP.

Mr Bercow, 58, originally elected as a Tory MP, last week took part in his first local Labour party meeting.

He did not respond to requests for comment yesterday.

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