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House of Commons

BULLY BOY BERCOW: Commons speaker PAID a former aide £86k to keep allegations of bullying quietly

COMMONS Speaker John Bercow bullied an aide and forced him to sign a gagging order to the allegations of misconduct quiet.

Bercow allegedly paid the aide £86,000 but the aide broke cover last night and revealed all.

Angus Sinclair said he was repeatedly threatened by Mr Bercow, finding himself the victim of aggressive outbursts, foul-mouthed rants and mockery.

On one occasion Bercow threw down his mobile phone during a heated row and smashed it.

Mr Bercow also attempted to physically intimidate Mr Sinclair, the former aide said.

Sinclair, who was Mr Bercow’s private secretary, claimed that the Speaker was prone to ‘over-the-top anger’. ‘I’m not sure he was completely in control of it,’ said Sinclair.

‘The arms would wave around.’ Mr Bercow has previously faced claims that another private secretary, Kate Emms, left her job after less than a year after being signed off with post-traumatic stress disorder.

After leaving his job in 2010 Mr Sinclair received a lump sum of £86,250 from public funds as part of a deal that required him to sign a non-disclosure agreement.

But last night he breached the terms of the deal, saying it was in the public interest for the nation to know what the Speaker was really like.

The former aide told BBC2’s Newsnight: ‘I thought to myself, it’s in the public interest to know why I left. Yes, it breaks that non-disclosure agreement, but it’s the truth. There was bullying.’

Mr Bercow’s office strenuously denied the bullying claims, saying many of his other staff had been happy to work with him for years.

The revelations come weeks after it emerged that a judge-led inquiry into alleged bullying and harassment of Commons staff would not investigate individual complaints.

It led to claims that the probe, ordered by the House of Commons Commission, will be nothing more than a whitewash. The Commission is chaired by the Speaker.

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