Former speaker John Bercow may himself be a victim of bullying after the Tories refused to award him a peerage, a shadow minister has said.
Labour deputy leadership candidate Dawn Butler said the Conservatives’ decision to depart with tradition and not award Bercow the peerage after his decade in the chair could be “a form of bullying too”.
The shadow women and equalities minister added that the focus should be on why the Tories did not nominate the former Speaker in the first place, suggesting it was “to do with Brexit”.
Bercow has denied all allegations of bullying made against him.
Speaking on Sky’s Sophy Ridge On Sunday, Butler said: “It is the norm that the Speaker of the House is always given a peerage so I think the first question for me is why hasn’t he been given a peerage from the Conservatives?”
She added: “I would like to know the reason why he wasn’t given a peerage. I suspect it’s actually do to with Brexit rather than anything else.
“The other thing is due process has to happen so if you accuse somebody of bullying there has to be due process.”
Butler said: “If John Bercow’s been accused of bullying then there needs to be due process and has he been found guilty or is it just an accusation? And I think those are the things that we have to go through.
“We really do need to ask the Conservatives why is it that you haven’t like everybody else ensured that the Speaker of the House is given a peerage? Otherwise, I think that is a form of bullying too.”
Retiring Speakers are traditionally nominated for a peerage by the prime minister.
But Boris Johnson refused to nominate Bercow, so Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn did instead.
Butler’s comments came after it was confirmed that a third complaint has been submitted about Bercow.
Former Clerk of the House Lord Lisvane and former Black Rod lieutenant-general David Leakey have filed complaints against Bercow.
We need your help ...
The coronavirus pandemic is changing our world, fast. And we will do all we can to keep bringing you news and analysis throughout. But we are worried about maintaining enough income to pay our staff and minimal overheads.
Now, more than ever, we need a vibrant, independent media that holds the government to account and calls it out when it puts vested economic interests above human lives. We need a media that shows solidarity with the people most affected by the crisis – and one that can help to build a world based on collaboration and compassion.
We have been fighting against an establishment that is trying to shut us down. And like most independent media, we don’t have the deep pockets of investors to call on to bail us out.
Can you help by chipping in a few pounds each month?