As Parliament sleaze dominated Commons business today, John Bercow told MPs ‘there is a need for change’ – describing allegations of a ‘culture of sexual harassment’ at Westminster as ‘disturbing’. Although the Speaker placed the responsibility on political leaders to clean up Parliament, Mr S hopes that Bercow can also play an important role in helping MPs understand how to treat their female colleagues and staff with more respect.
After all, it wasn’t so long ago that Bercow found himself in the firing line over his approach to women. In 2009, a ‘comical’ John Bercow article dating back to 1986 was unearthed. An article under Bercow’s name appeared in Armageddon magazine advising readers on how to attract different types of women and how to get rid of them after lovemaking.
It included tips on how to charm ‘drunk girls, virgins and refined girls’ – along with a chat-up line to keep up your sleeve:
‘If you’re free later maybe we could go back to your place and name your breasts.’
And ways to get a women to leave:
‘Don’t move, I have just broken a test tube filled with the Aids virus.’
At the time, a spokesman for Bercow was on hand to clarify that it was intended as a joke – and ‘in no way reflects the Speaker’s views today’…
Update: A spokesman for Bercow hums a different tune. They say the article was the result of a student prank. Thought the former spokesman was right in that the piece in no way reflects the Speaker’s views – ‘not least because they weren’t his either at the time or now’.