Ex-Speaker John Bercow signs up to celebrity public speaking agency which has Joanna Lumley and Jerry Springer on its books amid claims he refused to appear on BBC programme unless it agreed in writing not to quiz him about bullying allegations against him

  • Former Tory MP was in talks to appear on BBC World's HARDtalk recently
  • He was accused of pulling out after producers refused to ignore bullying claims
  • His agent said he had offered to do an interview with 'no limitations' in January
  • Former Commons Speaker has signed up to a corporate public speaking agency

John Bercow has signed up to a celebrity public speaking agency amid a row over whether he pulled out of a BBC interview because the programme-makers wanted to ask him about bullying allegations made against him. 

Mr Bercow is now listed on the JLA agency's website as available for bookings - alongside the likes of Joanna Lumley, Sir Ian Botham and Jerry Springer - after he quit his Commons Speaker role at the end of October. 

The website boasts that Mr Bercow 'built a reputation as a reformer' during his decade in the chair and that he will be able to 'share his insights on the future of our politics' during talks. 

He is also described as a 'seasoned raconteur with countless stories from the corridors of power'. 

It came as a former producer claimed Mr Bercow had demanded written confirmation that the BBC's Hardtalk episode would not ask about his alleged behaviour towards House of Commons staff. 

Ruaridh Arrow said that the BBC World television programme refused to give in to his demands and the appearance - due to take place within the last few weeks - never took place.

The revelation came after Mr Bercow, who quit as Speaker on October 31,  was booked to appear on Sky News on election night on December 12.

In a tweet, Mr Arrow suggested the channel ask him 'why he pulled out of our @BBCHARDtalk interview when we refused his demand to give an assurance IN WRITING that we wouldn't ask him about bullying allegations against him'. 

The revelation came after Mr Bercow, who quit as Speaker on October 31, was booked to appear on Sky News on election night on December 12

The revelation came after Mr Bercow, who quit as Speaker on October 31, was booked to appear on Sky News on election night on December 12

The former Speaker demanded written confirmation that the BBC's Hardtalk episode would not ask about his alleged behaviour towards House of Commons staff, a former producer claimed.

The former Speaker demanded written confirmation that the BBC's Hardtalk episode would not ask about his alleged behaviour towards House of Commons staff, a former producer claimed.

He added: 'Bercow pulled out hours before broadcast which I believe was designed to force us into a position where we had to submit to his demands. 

'Proud to work with strong colleagues and a programme like @BBCHardtalk which steadfastly refuses to take questions off the table.'

Jeremy Lee, Mr Bercow's new representative, told MailOnline: 'I wanted to know the line of questioning before we agreed to a Hardtalk interview. 

'In the end we decided that John Bercow would not appear on the programme at this time, but offered for him to do so around the time his memoirs are published in the new year - with no limitations whatsoever on the questions asked.'

Mr Bercow was unveiled last night as a guest on Sky's election night coverage.

John Ryley, the head of Sky News, said: 'John will bring his own authority, and no little wit to a night of high drama.' 

The 56-year-old stepped down from the helm after 10 years in the job at the end of last month and uttered the words 'order, order', after closing proceedings for the final time. 

Mr Bercow has previously been accused of bullying staff – claims he has repeatedly denied. 

Previous allegations include Angus Sinclair, Mr Bercow’s former private secretary, accusing the Speaker of physically intimidating, demeaning and mimicking him before he took ‘compulsory early retirement’ in 2010.

Mr Bercow has also been accused of bullying Mr Sinclair’s successor, Kate Emms, out of her job.

Former official David Leakey, who was Parliament's Black Rod, has accused him of creating a climate of 'fear and intimidation'. 

He denies all the claims against him. 

What are the claims of bullying and bad behaviour made against John Bercow? 

John Bercow has been hit by a number of bullying claims, all of which he denies. Here are the allegations:  

Andrew Sinclair, the former Speaker's Secretary:

Said he left his post in 2010 after he was subjected to angry outbursts, foul- mouthed tirades and mimicry by John Bercow.

He said was 'gagged' and stopped from speaking out about his time in the role as part of an £86,000 early retirement payoff. 

David Leakey, former Black Rod:

Mr Leakey, who retired last year, said staff were ‘terrified’ of the Speaker.

Kate Emms, John Bercow's former private secretary:

She took a job as Mr Bercow's private secretary in May 2010 but left her role less than a year later in February 2011 amid claims she was bullied by the Speaker.

Her colleagues alleged that this was because of the behaviour of Mr Bercow after she told staff that she suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder.

Colleagues told Newsnight that she was undermined by Mr Bercow in a range of ways – and he seemed to shout at her a lot. 

 

 

Ex-Speaker John Bercow signs up to corporate public speaking agency

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