From: William Rees, Boroughbridge.
I’M no great fan of John Bercow as the Speaker of the House of Commons but your Editorial (The Yorkshire Post, October 17) suggesting that he should resign because of “misgivings about his behaviour”, which “culminated with his use of belittling language against Cabinet minister Andrea Leadsom,” was a misjudgement.
Mr Bercow apparently called Ms Leadsom a “stupid woman”. As I have no dealings with her, I’m not able to confirm whether his comments are accurate or not.
But if that is an example of abusive behaviour I suggest that all politicians, and most people in many other professions, should resign right now.
I’m a great advocate of women’s equality, but politics is often characterised by raised emotions and heated language.
Do female politicians expect to be shielded from the rough edges of the profession they have chosen? Surely, if they want genuine equality, they should accept that language will occasionally be used in the heat of the moment that some may see as inappropriate?
And mere language shouldn’t be confused with actual physical abuse, which is intolerable under any circumstances. But by conflating the two, it effectively lets those who engage in genuine abuse off the hook.