64 Facts About John Bercow


John Simon Bercow is a British former politician who was Speaker of the House of Commons from 2009 to 2019, and Member of Parliament for Buckingham between 1997 and 2019.


John Bercow was a councillor in the London Borough of Lambeth from 1986 to 1990 and unsuccessfully contested Parliamentary seats in the 1987 and 1992 general elections, before being elected for Buckingham in 1997.


In November 2002, John Bercow resigned over a dispute concerning his support for the Adoption and Children Act 2002, but returned a year later, only to be dismissed from the Shadow Cabinet in 2004.


John Bercow was re-elected unopposed at the commencements of the Parliaments in 2010,2015 and 2017.


In September 2019, John Bercow declared that he would stand down as Commons Speaker and MP on 31 October; he remained Speaker until being appointed to the Manor of Northstead on 4 November 2019.


In 2014, John Bercow was appointed Chancellor of the University of Bedfordshire.


In 2022, an independent Commons complaints body found John Bercow to have persistently bullied staff, sworn at them over the course of more than a decade, and at one time made an undisclosed discriminatory remark.


The body concluded that it would have recommended John Bercow's expulsion had he still been an MP, and that he should never be permitted a pass to the Parliamentary estate.


John Bercow was born in Edgware, Middlesex, the son of Brenda and Charles John Bercow, a taxi driver.


John Bercow's father was born to a Jewish family and his mother converted to Judaism.


John Bercow attended Frith Manor Primary School in Woodside Park, and Finchley Manorhill, a large comprehensive school in North Finchley.


John Bercow graduated with a first-class honours degree in Government from the University of Essex in 1985.


John Bercow stood as a candidate for the club's national executive in 1981 with a manifesto calling for a programme of "assisted repatriation" of immigrants, and became secretary of its immigration and repatriation committee.


John Bercow attracted the attention of the Conservative leadership, and in 1987 he was appointed by Tebbit as vice-chairman of the Conservative Collegiate Forum to head the campaign for student support in the run-up to the 1987 general election.


John Bercow has lectured in the United States to students of the Leadership Institute.


In 1986, John Bercow was elected as a Conservative councillor in the London Borough of Lambeth, and served for four years representing the Streatham, St Leonard's ward.


In 1995, John Bercow was appointed as a special adviser to the Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Jonathan Aitken.


John Bercow was an unsuccessful Conservative candidate in the 1987 general election in Motherwell South, and again at the 1992 general election in Bristol South.


John Bercow was first elected to parliament in the 1997 general election as the MP for Buckingham with a majority of 12,386.


John Bercow then increased his majority at the 2001 general election being elected by a margin of 13,325 votes.


John Bercow was re-elected at the 2005 general election with an again increased majority of 18,129.


John Bercow was appointed a frontbench spokesman for Education and Employment in June 1999, and then a frontbench spokesman for Home Affairs in July 2000, before being brought into the shadow cabinet in 2001 by the Conservative leader Iain Duncan Smith.


John Bercow served as Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury from September 2001 to July 2002, and as Shadow Minister for Work and Pensions from July to November 2002.


John Bercow has a long-standing interest in Burma and frequently raised issues of democracy and genocide in the country.


John Bercow was formerly the treasurer of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Tribal Peoples, an APPG composed of over 30 cross-party MPs which aims to raise parliamentary and public awareness of tribal peoples.


John Bercow won the Stonewall award for Politician of the Year in 2010 for his work to support equality for lesbian, gay and bisexual people.


John Bercow did not at that time defect to Labour, but in September 2007, accepted an advisory post on Gordon Brown's government's review of support for children with speech, language and communication special needs.


John Bercow had a long-term interest in this topic, as his son Oliver has been diagnosed with autism.


In 2008, Bercow was asked by Labour cabinet members Ed Balls and Alan Johnson to produce a substantial review of children and families affected by speech, language and communication needs.


John Bercow faced accusations that he had presided over what had been dubbed a "fresh cover-up" of the expenses scandal.


John Bercow has been a Patron of the ME Association, Brain Tumour Research and a Patron of the Patchwork Foundation founded by Harris Bokhari.


John Bercow spoken at a fundraising event for the mental health charity Jami.


In 2018, John Bercow supported a fundraiser for Children in Need.


John Bercow had long campaigned quietly to become Speaker and was touted as a successor to Michael Martin.


John Bercow was elected by a large number of Labour votes, many MPs being driven by the perception that Michael Martin had been hounded out of the job and wanting his replacement to be someone who was not a Conservative Party favourite.


John Bercow was the first Speaker to be Jewish, the first one to have been elected by an exhaustive ballot, and the first not to wear traditional court robes while presiding over the House of Commons.


However, in accordance with tradition, John Bercow did display his coat of arms at Speaker's House.


In October 2009, John Bercow chaired the United Kingdom Youth Parliament's first annual sitting in the House of Commons, making them the only group except members of parliament to sit in the chamber.


John Bercow chaired every subsequent sitting and attended every annual conference until his resignation in 2019, addressing and supporting Members of Youth Parliament from across the UK.


John Bercow was embroiled in the expenses saga and he presides over a Parliament that virtually does nothing.


John Bercow faced opposition from the British National Party and the Christian Party.


John Bercow was returned as an MP in the 2015 general election.


On 26 March 2015, the House of Commons defeated a government motion to require there to be a secret ballot vote on whether John Bercow remain speaker after the 2015 general election.


In February 2017, John Bercow said he had supported continued membership of the European Union in the 2016 referendum.


John Whittingdale, the Conservative MP for Maldon and a former Culture Secretary, dismissed Bercow's remarks as "playing to the gallery for as much publicity as possible", and Bercow himself apologised to the Lord Speaker Lord Fowler over a lack of consultation over his remarks.


In January 2019, John Bercow broke with convention, allowing a vote on an amendment to a government business motion.


In October 2018, it was reported that John Bercow intended to step down as Speaker in the summer of 2019, but in January 2019 it was reported that he planned to stay as Speaker until the end of the parliament, in 2022.


On 9 September 2019, amid debates about Brexit and parliament being prorogued, John Bercow declared to the House of Commons that he would stand down on 31 October, or at the next general election, whichever waser; the former applied.


John Bercow became the first ex-Speaker since the retirement of Arthur Onslow in 1761 to have been eligible for, but not have been made the offer of, a peerage.


In November 2019, John Bercow was appointed by Chancellor of the Exchequer Sajid Javid as Steward and Bailiff of the Manor of Northstead; since members of the House of Commons are prohibited from resigning, the legal device of appointment to an "office of profit under The Crown" is used to permit members to leave their legislative offices.


John Bercow maintained that he was impartial during the debates, and only made his views clear after leaving office.


John Bercow was nominated for a peerage by Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, but this was refused by Prime Minister Boris Johnson.


John Bercow has been very critical of the Conservative government's handling of COVID-19 since leaving Parliament.


On 19 June 2021, John Bercow said that he had joined the Labour Party "a few weeks ago".


In October 2018, John Bercow had called for an independent body to be set up to investigate allegations of harassment and bullying in Parliament.


John Bercow faced calls to quit after an independent report by Dame Laura Cox found that harassment and bullying had been tolerated and concealed for years, which Bercow denies.


In January 2020, Lord Lisvane, who served as Clerk of the House of Commons under John Bercow, submitted a formal complaint to the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards.


In January 2022, the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards, Kathryn Stone, upheld 21 allegations out of 35 brought by Lord Lisvane and private secretaries Kate Emms and Angus Sinclair against John Bercow, who appealed to the Independent Expert Panel.


John Bercow married Sally Illman in 2002 after 13 years of an "on-off" relationship, and they have three children.


John Bercow is a humanist, and before taking the role of Speaker was a member of the All-Party Parliamentary Humanist Group.


John Bercow has been a fan of Arsenal FC since January 1971 and is a season ticket holder.


John Bercow always attends games with his son, and has appeared on AFTV.


John Bercow is a lifelong follower of tennis, having played competitively against the likes of Andrew Castle and Jeremy Bates in his youth.


In January 2022, John Bercow was a contestant on the eleventh episode of the revival of the BBC quiz show The Weakest Link where he was voted out in round 2.