A top Commons clerk who claims to have been bullied by John Bercow told friends he resigned early because of the toll it took on his health.
New details have emerged of allegations by Lord Lisvane, who has handed Parliament’s Standards Commissioner a file claiming he and others were bullied by the former Commons Speaker.
Furious Mr Bercow categorically denied bullying yesterday and hit back at the timing of the dossier – which could scupper his bid for a peerage.
But a friend of the former Clerk of the House told The Sun Mr Bercow used four-letter expletives and told Lord Lisvane “he was no good, he was useless.”
The friend added: “He tried to make him feel completely worthless, without ever making any specific allegations of what he was supposed to have done wrong.
“Eventually Robert’s health started to suffer with the daily stress of it all, so he decided to resign early.”
It comes as it emerged Mr Bercow could be investigated over the alleged behaviour – even if he reaches the House of Lords successfully.
According to the Daily Telegraph, the Lords conduct committee discussed closing a loophole that prevents ex-MPs being investigated for past behaviour when they become peers.
Lord Lisvane – formerly known as Robert Rogers – was elevated to the Lords as a Crossbench peer by David Cameron in 2014 after five years working alongside Mr Bercow. He was in his early 60s at the time.
Hitting back, Mr Bercow said Lord Lisvane had “ample opportunity” to raise concerns in the five years they worked together and never did so.
“Moreover, as Chief Executive of the Commons and Head of the House Service, he had a duty of care to all House staff,” Mr Bercow said.
“Therefore, he had not merely a right but a responsibility to act if he thought that he witnessed misconduct.”
Mr Bercow stepped down as Speaker in October and has now reportedly taken on a role as Professor of Politics at Royal Holloway University.
In a lengthy statement, Mr Bercow fumed: “It has become increasingly obvious that the Government has no intention of honouring the centuries old convention that a departing Speaker is promptly elevated to the House of Lords.
“Indeed, it has been suggested to me that the Government actively seeks to block any other attempt to nominate me for membership of the Upper House.
“I have seen in the media that Lord Lisvane is formally complaining that I bullied staff. For the record, I categorically deny that I have ever bullied anyone, anywhere at any time.”
Downing Street said the “serious” allegations against Mr Bercow must be investigated, as critic Andrea Leadsom said any guilty finding against him should impact his attempt to join the House of Lords.
Mr Bercow is thought to have been nominated for a peerage by Labour.