Is Bercow heading for a fall?
How much longer can MPs tolerate John Bercow as Speaker?
The criticism about his conduct, both at Westminster and beyond, has been relentless and extremely damaging to him.
Yet MPs seem too timid even to allow an investigation to take place into allegations of bullying on his part – accusations he fiercely denies.
Now, on top of that, there’s allegations he uttered foul-mouthed remarks against a member of the Cabinet, Andrea Leadsom. The fact these remarks were made under his breath is no excuse.
They were uttered and were audible – a total disgrace on his part. All this from a man who regularly and annoyingly chides MPs about their so-called raucous behaviour. It takes your breath away.
The bullying allegations were made separately by two senior ex-aides of the Speaker. They were serious and detailed. Yet shamefully, the House of Commons Standards Committee blocked the investigation from ever taking place.
How can it be right that an MP’s alleged wrong-doings are tried (or not tried, as in this case) by fellow MPs acting as judge and jury in their own court?
No ordinary punter enjoys the luxury of his own family deciding whether he should face justice or not when an offence is committed.
This is seriously a case of one law for MPs and another for the rest of us – it is a mockery of justice and a scandal that must be abandoned.
Some independent body must be created to deal with these cases.
Ironically, Bercow himself should be angry at the decision to block the investigation. Since he denies the bullying, he would otherwise have had the chance to clear his name.
This is not a witch-hunt against Bercow. All his troubles he has brought on himself. The trouble is that, pathetically, MPs do not seem to have the bottle to dump him. But now Downing Street has entered the fray and said that Bercow’s grossly insulting behaviour towards Ms Leadsom was unacceptable.
That could mean that belated action might now be forthcoming.