Coffee House

Exclusive: Tory MP accuses Speaker of misleading House over Clerk row

3 September 2014

6:29 PM

3 September 2014

6:29 PM

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Speaker Bercow has been accused of misleading the House of Commons over his plan to appoint Carol Mills as Clerk of the House. In a letter to the Speaker, seen first by Coffee House, Conservative MP Michael Fabricant suggests that Bercow may have ‘inadvertently misled the House’ on whether the recruitment firm advising on the appointment of the Clerk was prevented from giving evidence about the suitability of Mills for the job. Today in the Commons, Bercow told Fabricant that he was ‘unfortunately, but fairly predictably’ wrong to say that recruitment consultants Saxton Bampfylde were prevented from telling the panel advising on the appointment that Mills was under two investigations by the Australian Senate. But in his letter, Fabricant writes:

‘Notwithstanding your personal comments about me in the Chamber, on the first question, whether Saxton Bampfylde was prevented by the Panel, following your advice and lead, from giving further evidence regarding the suitability or otherwise of Ms Mills, I have since been told by members of the Panel that this was indeed the case. ‘Saxton Bampfylde did wish to provide further information about Ms Mills, including the fact that she is under two investigations by the Australian Senate, but this offer was rejected. You may now wish to put the record straight.’


The MP also asks Bercow to clarify whether he or other Commons officials told Saxton Bampfylde to include Mills in the list of candidates that it recommended for appointment. He writes:

‘You will appreciate that the reputation of Saxton Bampfylde is at stake over this issue and it would be morally wrong to use them, or indeed other members of the Panel, as a fig leaf.’

Fabricant then demands that all papers concerning the appointment be placed in the House of Commons Library, adding that ‘only by openness will this matter finally be resolved’. Here is the full letter (click on the image to view a larger version): Bercow letter 1of2 3.9.14 s Bercow letter 2of2 3.9.14 s

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Show comments
  • The Laughing Cavalier

    What is especially nasty is the Squeaker’s attempt to paint the outgoing Clerk Robert Rogers as an old fuddy duddy and reactionary. A good man has been traduced by a bad one. It is reminiscent of Callaghan’s disgraceful attempts to blacken the good name of the British Ambassador to Washington so as to replace him with his son-in-law.

  • Terence Hale

    Order, Order; Dictators are not necessary tyrants.

  • Redrose82

    I am starting to warm to Michael Fabricant. Hitherto I have considered him a figure of fun with that ridiculous and so obvious wig. However there seems to be not a little grey matter lying beneath that straw coloured syrup.

  • swatnan

    If Bercow has been lying then its a resigning issue.

  • Peter Stroud

    It seems pretty clear that Bercow has misled the House. It is time that the panel made a statement about its position in the matter.

  • bugshead

    I sincerely hope that Bercow has shot his bolt on this one. Get the little runt out and his revolting family also. He has done more to demand the office of Speaker than even his half witted predecessor Gorbals Mick

  • the viceroy’s gin

    Nobody cares about the midget, lassie.

    They do care about the thousands and thousands of child s e x slaves in Rotherham, and the many thousands of innocents in other parts of the country, who have been forced into child s e x slavery.

    Maybe you should write about what the People care about, rather than providing the poshboys a convenient distraction.

    • Misty A

      Nobody is saying that they do not care about the issues in Rotherham.

      However one is perfectly able to have views and opinions about more than one matter at the same time, and be free to write and discuss.

      • the viceroy’s gin

        Actually, the Speccie kids don’t have an opinion on the child s e x slavers, and have made nary a mention of it, which is what is so striking.

  • GUBU

    Small man acts the big man. Ends up looking like very small man indeed.

    Unfortunate, but fairly predictable.

  • toco10

    Goodnight and good riddance John Bercow.You have been a disgrace to Parliament.

  • ButcombeMan

    Good on Fabricant.

    It is about time someone sorted this Speaker out.

  • chouenlai

    No pun intended regarding the Speakers racial background, but I hope Fabricants information is kosher.

  • HookesLaw

    Is she under investigation or not?
    If so did Bercow know?
    If Bercow knew and put her on the short list then that alone is reason for him to resign. Negligence.

    • Simon Denis

      Hear, hear; it’s about time that ghastly little creep Bercow was given his marching orders – or should that be his waddling orders?