Former black rod argues that John Bercow does not deserve to join House of Lords
PUBLISHED: 12:03 30 December 2019 | UPDATED: 12:11 30 December 2019
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After John Bercow was passed over for a peerage upon retirement from his post as speaker of the House of Commons, a former black rod has argued that he doesn’t deserve it.
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The apparent snub to Bercow has sparked comment as he is the first former speaker in 230 years not to be offered a place in the House of Lords after stepping down.
But lieutenant general David Leakey, formerly a black rod, cited the numerous accusations of bullying that have been made against the former speaker.
Although he praised aspects of Bercow's time as leader, he said that parliament needs "respect" after "recent shenanigans", and added that Bercow had been "openly a Remainer".
Speaking to LBC's Andrew Castle, Leakey said: "I think the most important thing about this is that it respects the dignity and authority and the criteria for membership of the House of Lords.
"A number of quite serious allegations have been made against John Bercow."
WATCH: John Bercow first speaker in 230 years not to be offered honour after stepping down
The remarks come after architect of austerity Iain Duncan Smith was named in the new year honours' list, and after Andrew Bridgen suggested, in a letter to Boris Johnson, that Nigel Farage be offered a knighthood to help the country's "healing process".
WATCH: Andrew Bridgen calls for Nigel Farage to be knighted for services to the Brexit cause
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Leakey added: "One of the criteria for being a member of the House of Lords is that there must be, when you become a member, no potential for a [...] a sort of stain on your reputation that might transmit into the House of Lords and bring it itself into disrepute."
"One thing which parliament needs more than more than anything at this stage, after the recent shenanigans - if I can put it that way - of the last year or two, is respect."
"There have been a number of allegations made against John Bercow for his abuse and intimidation, insulting people. He has done that to me.
"He's insulted me very considerably. He's lost his temper and banged the table and jumped about and bawled at me and hurled the the most appalling insults at me. Now, I'm not alone in this."
He also said: "I've seen him losing his rag for for no particular reason with other people too."
He said that Bercow had previously apologised to him personally for one incident, and said that after a career in the army the alleged incidents were like "water off a duck's back".
Nonetheless, he called for a "proper investigation" into the allegations, adding that Bercow "has a lot to offer" the House if an investigation cleared him.
"He is very experience and he was in many senses was a good speaker. He championed lots of causes," said Leakey.
Leakey stopped short of endorsing the many accusations of bias that have been made about Bercow, but claimed that he has been "openly a Remainer".
Bercow has long denied the accusations of bullying.
When asked about them by Sky News on the evening of the general election, he said they were "not true".
He said that some of working relationships had failed during his career, but said he has "never bullied" anyone.
He said: "I have never bullied anyone in any way to any degree in any situation at any time. It is not true.
"I would emphasise that you can look at the facts.
"I had several people in my office who worked for me year after year after year."
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