John Bercow’s chances of bagging a peerage could be in tatters following reports his most senior former official has filed a formal bullying complaint.
Lord Lisvane, who was chief clerk of the House of Commons at the beginning of Bercow’s stint as Speaker, has handed a dossier of allegations to the parliamentary commissioner for standards, the Times reported.
The accusations are said to include details about incidents when Bercow bullied and humiliated staff, including uses of inappropriate language.
The former Speaker last night denied the allegations and described the timing of the intervention as “curious”.
Bercow has been nominated for a peerage by outgoing Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn after missing out on a government recommendation.
Supporters of the outspoken former Tory MP have claimed the snub was revenge for Bercow’s apparent attempts to block Brexit in the last parliament.
Bercow has previously been accused of bullying colleagues, but has always denied the allegations.
“During the five years that we worked together, Lord Lisvane had ample opportunity to raise any accusations of bullying with me,” he said in a statement. “At no stage did he do so… the timing of this intervention is curious.”
All nominees for peerages are vetted by the House of Lords Appointments Commission, which has been made aware of the complaint.
Bercow stepped down from the speaker’s chair on 31 October and has been replaced by Sir Lindsay Hoyle.