John Bercow will not get peerage despite Corbyn nomination

David Connett
Photograph: Henry Nicholls/Reuters

John Bercow will not be awarded a peerage despite being nominated by former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, it has been reported.

The nomination of the former Speaker of the House of Commons will not be passed on to the Queen for approval because he is the subject of an investigation into alleged wrongdoing and will not pass a “propriety test” unless he is cleared before the nominations are sent.

The investigation, into claims that he “bullied” staff that worked for him, has not yet been completed. Former senior parliamentary official Lt General David Leakey is among the complainants. Leakey, who served as Black Rod, accused Bercow of “intolerable rudeness and explosive behaviour” in a report passed to the parliamentary commissioner for standards.

Bercow has said he categorically denies “I have ever bullied anyone, anywhere at any time”.

Corbyn nominated Bercow for a peerage in his dissolution honours list after he became the first Speaker in more than two centuries to step down and not be nominated for the Lords by the government. His handling of issues around Brexit and other parliamentary business allegedly made him a target for many pro-Brexit figures who are now in power.

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A book published this month claimed that Bercow frequently clashed with parliamentary staff whom he believed were opposing reforms to improve facilities and services to MPs and the public. Critics claimed his portrayal of parliamentary clerks as “fuddy-duddy old farts who block everything is a very convenient fiction for him”.

Bercow was contacted for comment on Saturday night.

A second Corbyn peerage nomination has also been refused, the Sunday Times reported. Karie Murphy, a former nurse, ran the Labour leader’s office and also organised the party’s ill-fated 2019 election campaign.

Corbyn faced criticism for nominating her from members of his own party while it was still under investigation over its handling of antisemitism. Murphy is named in submissions to the Equality and Human Rights Commission but has denied any wrongdoing.