Speaker John Bercow 'to stand down' next year

EMPICS Entertainment

EMPICS Entertainment

The speaker of Britain's lower house of parliament, John Bercow, will leave his post next summer, the BBC and other local media reported on Tuesday, but his office said he had made no announcement about a leaving date.

An independent commission should be set up to investigate all future allegations of bullying and sexual harassment against MPs, John Bercow has said.

The report condemned a culture in which abusive behaviour was "tolerated, concealed and covered up", and comes amid claims of bullying against Mr Bercow, which he has denied.

The document says Mr Bercow is not in a position to address an alleged culture of "deference, subservience, acquiescence and silence" among staff in the House of Commons.

She said: "The report is incredibly powerful and clear that what is the root problem here is that the bullying and harassment is coming right from the top".

In response, the House of Commons Executive Board, which is composed of the senior administrative staff, issued a statement, confessing the report "makes hard reading for all of us, " apologizing for past failings and promising to change "our culture for the better".

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She called for the establishment of an "entirely independent process" for dealing with staff complaints against MPs in which MPs themselves play no part.

He will likely have to decide whether to permit opponents of May's Brexit plan to try and change the terms of the debate into one on a second referendum - a key decision which could allow lawmakers to put pressure on May to avoid a "no-deal" exit.

But Mr Bercow has been repeatedly accused of failing to stick to that.

The judge describes a frat-house-from-hell atmosphere, where the female clerks - the staff members who run the place - endure "frequent inappropriate touching", with bosses and colleagues "leaving a hand on their knee for an uncomfortably long time", and trying to kiss them and "grabbing their arms or bottoms".

Dame Laura said while there was an "expectation of loyalty" among staff towards the institution they worked for, the standing of the House was being diminished by the failure of its senior leadership to deal with the issue.

Miller told BBC Radio 4's Today programme that she agreed with Sir Kevin, saying "the legitimacy of the House of Commons is undermined by having this sort of behaviour and culture prevail".

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