Commons Speaker John Bercow creates a climate of “fear and intimidation”, an ex-senior Parliament official has said.
David Leakey, who was responsible for keeping order in the House of Lords, told BBC Newsnight he had seen “bullying and unreasonable” behaviour.
He is the second official to accuse the Speaker of bullying. Earlier in the week Mr Bercow’s ex-private secretary accused him of “angry outbursts”.
Mr Bercow’s official spokesman has rejected all of the claims.
Mr Leakey, who served as Black Rod until 2017, said he had a disagreement with Mr Bercow over seating arrangements for a “high profile visit” at Westminster.
He said “the red mist descended” on Mr Bercow who “banged the table, yelled and was highly insulting to me personally”.
Mr Leakey said the speaker called him an “anti-Semite” for which Mr Bercow later apologised.
The former Black Rod said: “For me it’s water off a duck’s back but if that happened to someone else who was not used to that sort of treatment, that is by any definition bullying, it is intimidating, unreasonable, disproportionate.”
Mr Leakey said Mr Bercow’s behaviour could be seen by the public in the chamber where the speaker “intimidates, mimics and mocks” MPs.
He said MPs were “fearful” of complaining because the speaker could be “vindictive” and not call on them to speak in the future.
‘Very different people’
Mr Leakey said he did not believe Mr Bercow “matches up to the standard” he would expect from a public servant.
He also said removing Mr Bercow would need the support of the Labour party but they “obtain a considerable political benefit” from the speaker’s treatment of Conservative front-benchers.
A spokesman for Mr Bercow’s office said: “John Bercow and David Leakey are two very different people with very different backgrounds, perspectives and ideas.
“They had fundamental disagreements in 2011 and 2012, but interacted adequately after that.”
The Speaker’s Chaplain Rev Rose Hudson-Wilkin told BBC’s Daily Politics that Mr Bercow was “very kind, caring and compassionate.”
“I know that if he felt that he had done something to someone, that he would be mortified,” she said.
“It feels like a frenzy at the moment and that concerns me. Not only in relation to Mr Bercow, but in terms of other MPs, there are times when a frenzy is whipped up around individuals and that is quite concerning in terms of their well-being.”
On Wednesday, the prime minister’s spokesman said that allegations of bullying against Mr Bercow claims were “concerning” and should be properly investigated.
Mr Bercow’s former private secretary Angus Sinclair has claimed that the Speaker shouted and swore at him, and attempted to physically intimidate him.
Mr Sinclair told Newsnight that he faced angry outbursts from Mr Bercow whilst working for him in 2009-10.
A spokesman for Mr Bercow said there was “no substance” to the allegations.
Mr Bercow said in the Commons on Wednesday: “I have a superb team of dedicated, effective and long-serving staff, five of whom have served me for a collective total of over 40 years.
“I am also happy to confirm that the great majority of people who have left my service have done so on perfectly amicable terms.”
An inquiry, under Dame Laura Cox QC, is under way into claims of bullying by MPs.
Leader of the House and Tory MP Andrea Leadsom said on Wednesday it was up to Dame Laura to decide if her independent inquiry needed to be expanded to allow for investigations into individuals to take place.