peaker John Bercow today gave Andrea Leadsom | Secretgist

Bercow gives Andrea Leadsom a stern ticking off after he catches the minister chatting in the Commons.

Speaker John Bercow today gave Andrea Leadsom an extraordinary ticking off in the Commons after catching the minister chatting in the Chamber.

Mr Bercow was answering a question from another MP when he spotted the Cabinet member talking with a colleague on the frontbench.

Clearly irritated, he shot the Leader of the Commons a withering look as he demanded that she be quiet while he was speaking.

He said: ‘Perhaps if the House is interested in listening to me, listening to what I have got to say to the John bercom

‘When ministers have finished their private conversation perhaps I can respond to the point of order by the honourable gentleman?’

But Mr Bercow became more rattled when he saw that Mrs Leadsom had not fallen to silence at his command.


Shooting a look of daggers at Mrs Leadsom from his seat at the helm of the Chamber, Mr Bercow again demanded her attention.

His tempter clearly fraying he sad: ‘Perhaps I can start again? Perhaps I can start again when the Leader has finished her conversation with her honourable friend?

‘Perhaps when the Leader has finished her conversation with her honourable friend I can respond?

‘I would be extremely grateful for that courtesy.’

He then took his seat and tells the Chamber, sarcastically, that he can ‘happily wait’ until Mrs Leadsom is finished.

A damning report by Dame Laura Cox and published last month exposed the abuse which lay in the corridors of power and lashed the parliamentary authorities for failing to tackle it.

Dame Laura said that a string of male MPs past and present have allegedly lunged, groped and propositioned women.

She lashed the ‘institutional failings’ in the Commons and warned a culture of ‘deference, subservience, acquiescence and silence’ exists in Parliament.

She said victims have lost all faith in the current regime’s ability to usher in the ‘seismic shift’ needed to finally end the culture of abuse.

Her scathing remarks were seen as an excoriating indictment of Mr  Bercow, who as Commons Speaker has been in charge of discipline in Parliament since 2009.

But veteran Labour MP Barry Sheerman backed Mr Bercow in today’s row and accused Ms Leadsom of behaving rudely and then ‘flouncing out’.

Speaking in the Chamber, he said: ‘In all my time here I have never seen a Leader of the House act with such disrespect and then flounce out of the Chamber, and her officials follow out in that way, showing their dislike for something an MP had just said.

‘That was far more serious than a bit of fun with a football the other night.

‘It was a serious affront to this House, not to you Mr Speaker.’

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