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MP condemns 'hot-headed' Bercow
1:43pm Sunday 20th July 2014 in © Press Association 2014
Parliament deserves better than "hot-headed, unpredictable and foul-mouthed" John Bercow as Commons Speaker, an MP said as he called for him to go.
Conservative Michael Fabricant used a parliamentary debate to accuse Mr Bercow of telling the House of Commons' most senior official to "f*** off", a claim denied by the Speaker.
The Lichfield MP used the opportunity of a motion to mark the retirement this summer of Sir Robert Rogers after a 42-year parliamentary career to claim that Mr Bercow had used the F-word at the clerk.
It has been claimed that Sir Robert is retiring early because of a difficult relationship with Mr Bercow.
And Mr Fabricant has written a column in a Sunday newspaper to offer an explanation for his decision to tell the anecdote, which he said was told to him by a " well-known public figure, a distinguished lawyer and knight of the realm" at a dinner party.
Writing in the Mail on Sunday, Mr Fabricant said: " I support many of the reforms that Mr Bercow has introduced, which have given more power to Parliament, and I did not take on the Speaker out of vengeance, nor to settle any score.
"I did it for just one reason: I do not like bullies.
"Parliament deserves better than John Bercow. Politicians like me are used to the rough and tumble of debate. If I am insulted, I can answer back.
"But distinguished public servants like Sir Robert, who have served the House with dignity over many decades, have no such opportunity.
"He, and all employees of the House, deserve respect and courtesy. And Parliament deserves better than hot-headed, unpredictable and foul-mouthed John Bercow.
"The sooner we get a new Speaker, the better. Bercow should go."
During the debate on Sir Robert's retirement, Mr Fabricant told MPs: "We don't know why he has chosen to retire early - though his working environment behind closed doors has not always been easy, as those in the know have already alluded, and in that respect despite Sir Robert having studied Anglo Saxon at Oxford and being told at least once in front of others to f*** off by you Mr Speaker, I think that wouldn't have encouraged him to stay."
Mr Fabricant spelt out the swear word rather than saying it explicitly - avoiding censure from Mr Bercow.
Mr Bercow said: "I'll ignore that last observation which suffered from the disadvantage of being wrong."