politics

U.K. Parliament Speaker Bercow Bullied Secretary

Corrected
  • Newsnight reports staffer was paid off in non-disclosure deal
  • Bercow’s office ‘strenuously denies’ allegations: BBC

U.K. House of Commons Speaker John Bercow

Photographer: WPA Pool/Getty Images

U.K. House of Commons Speaker John Bercow is at the center of fresh claims of bullying after a BBC’s Newsnight show report that his former secretary was paid more than 86,000 pounds ($117,000) as part of a severance deal that included a non-disclosure agreement.

Angus Sinclair, a Royal Navy veteran who had worked for Bercow’s predecessor, left the job in 2010 after a year working for Bercow. He told the BBC that the Speaker undermined him, yelled at him and on one occasion smashed a mobile phone on his desk in a rage.

Bercow’s office told the BBC it “strenuously denies that there is any substance to any of these allegations.” Newsnight has previously reported that Sinclair’s successor was diagnosed with stress after working for the Speaker. Bercow has also denied bullying her.

Since taking up the job in 2009, Bercow has championed the rights of Parliament, encouraging lawmakers to hold the government to account. As a series of key votes on Brexit approach, he has a track record of supporting moves that make life difficult for ministers.

(Corrects name of secretary in second and third paragraph.)
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