Bercow's replacement tells MPs to respect staff following 'widespread' Commons bullying claims

·Senior news reporter, Yahoo News UK

John Bercow’s replacement as Commons speaker has pleaded with MPs to respect their staff following claims of “widespread” bullying and harassment in the corridors of power.

Sir Lindsay Hoyle posted the message on Wednesday afternoon as MPs, old and new, were sworn in following last week’s general election.

An inquiry report, published in July, found “some staff of Members of Parliament are subject to an unacceptable risk of bullying and harassment, including sexual harassment, at work”.

The inquiry called for an overhaul in employment processes and in a fresh attempt to protect staff, Sir Lindsay said: “The one thing we can have is respect and tolerance for each other.

New Speaker of the House Sir Lindsay Hoyle speaks in the House of Commons, London, after the Conservative Party gained an 80-seat majority in the General Election.
New speaker Lindsay Hoyle (PA)

“It’s also respect for our staff. The staff that make things happen. They make this building work. Without them, we cannot manage. So please: let’s all respect each other.”

The inquiry quoted bullied staff members of MPs as saying “my entire sense of self was crushed”, “the MP absolutely crushed my confidence and made me feel worthless” and “we are expendable staffers, with no independent HR service, and therefore no recourse”.

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Though the bullying was “sufficiently widespread to require an urgent collective response”, report author Gemma White QC made clear most MPs treated their staff with respect.

Mr Bercow, Sir Lindsay’s predecessor, was himself subject to numerous allegations of bullying, which he denied.

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