John Bercow says it's 'blindingly obvious' there is a campaign to stop him going into the House of Lords.
David Leakey says John Bercow's behaviour makes him unfit for the House of Lords
- Copyright: PA Media
Hackney MP Diane Abbott has been criticised for "ridiculous" comments suggesting it was unlikely a former general could have been bullied by John Bercow.
The shadow home secretary came to the defence of the former speaker, who has been involved in a public row with Lieutenant General David Leakey, who held the post of black rod in Parliament.
In a tweet, that has since been deleted, Ms Abbott claimed Lt Gen Leakey's extensive military service meant it was unlikely he could have been bullied by Mr Bercow.
"He had been a Lieutenant General who served in Germany, Northern Ireland and Bosnia," she said. "But claims he was bullied (i.e. intimidated and coerced) by John Bercow. Unlikely."
But Dave Penman, general secretary of the FDA union which represents senior civil servants, said Ms Abbott had a "complete failure to understand" the abuse of power in the workplace.
"What a ridiculous comment from an experienced MP, demonstrating blind political partisanship and a complete failure to understand how power is abused in the workplace."
Lt Gen Leakey, who served as black rod until 2018, stood by his claims that Mr Bercow "brutalised" staff after the former speaker dismissed them as "total and utter rubbish".Copyright: Getty Images
By Nick Eardley
BBC political correspondent
Sir Lindsay Hoyle says he wants to "try and bring the House together".
This election has seen the retirement from parliament of one of the most colourful and controversial speakers of recent years, John Bercow (pictured).Copyright: PA Media
After 22 years representing Buckingham, his departure also means that, for the first time in more than a decade, people living in his constituency will get to take part in a proper election.
In the last two elections, the mainstream parties chose not to field candidates, an unwritten rule in whichever seat the speaker sits in, although that did not stop Nigel Farage putting up a UKIP candidate in 2010.
Even before Bercow’s elevation, this seat has been Conservative since the 1960s so Greg Smith, the Tory candidate, will fancy his chances first time out. His wife is expecting their child in January.
That said, the Lib Dems, on paper, have a strong challenger in the shape of former Tory Health Minister Stephen Dorrell.
By Katie Wright & Ella Wills
Sir Lindsay Hoyle was elected by MPs after four rounds of voting.