Parliamentary bullying will not be tolerated, says Speaker

Sir Lindsay HoyleImage copyright
PA Media

Commons Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle has declared an end to bullying in Parliament, saying abusive behaviour will not be tolerated.

He told journalists at a Press Gallery lunch that he believed bullying had taken place and that Westminster had been an unhappy place.

But he said he wanted everyone working on the Parliamentary Estate to be respected.

“I want to make this a better village for all of us,” he said.

Sir Lindsay’s predecessor John Bercow has been accused of bullying during his 10 years as Speaker, but he has “categorically” denied the claims.

Asked about the allegations, Sir Lindsay, who was previously a deputy Speaker, said he had not personally been bullied by Mr Bercow.

And when asked about whether he had witnessed any bullying, Sir Lindsay said: “We had a working relationship – that’s the best way to describe it.”

Describing his own approach to the job of Speaker, Sir Lindsay said: “It is about looking after everyone who works in this place.”

He added: “I do hope we can get the respect back.”

Sir Lindsay also said: “The bullying is over. We are not going to tolerate it.”

Among those attending the lunch was former Black Rod David Leakey, who has accused Mr Bercow of bullying.

Mr Leakey, who was responsible for keeping order in the House of Lords, told BBC Newsnight in 2018 that he had seen “bullying and unreasonable” behaviour.

The ex-senior Parliament official said Mr Bercow created a climate of “fear and intimidation”.

Sir Lindsay said due process should take place when it comes to whether Mr Bercow should be made a peer; that his name should go forward, then the relevant authorities should decide whether his nomination is suitable.


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