FOR months, The Yorkshire Post has been arguing that Parliament requires cultural change, starting with a new Speaker, if staff at Westminster are to be treated with respect.
Yet, even though John Bercow shows no intention of stepping down, arguing that Brexit demands an experienced Speaker, this newspaper’s stance is vindicated by the latest report into sexual intimidation and harassment at Westminster.
“Most Members of Parliament treat their staff with dignity and respect but the problem of bullying and harassment is sufficiently widespread to require an urgent collective response,” concluded Gemma White QC.
Yet, while Mr Bercow insists that this is a matter for individual MPs and their working relationships with staff and aides, this would not be such a recurring problem if the Speaker had shown the requiste leadership.
The fact that allegations have been levelled against his office – and that he seems rather pre-occupied by his trips to Wimbledon in a rather unflattering T-shirt to express vocal support for tennis legend Roger Federer – shows where this issue features on Mr Bercow’s list of priorities. And if a change of Prime Minister, and Brexit strategy, is not the right time for MPs to change Speaker, when is?