Boris Johnson was 'immoral, unfocused' and 'worst PM I've known', John Bercow says

Former British Prime Minister Boris Johnson gestures during a state visit of South African President Cyril Ramaphosa at the Houses of Parliament, in London, Britain, November 22, 2022. REUTERS/Toby Melville/Pool
John Bercow has described Boris Johnson as 'the worst public speaker of any prime minister I've ever heard' in a scathing interview. (Reuters)

Boris Johnson has been called "immoral, unethical, unfocused" and "utterly devoid of any coherent vision" in a scathing attack by former Commons speaker John Bercow.

Bercow said the former Tory leader was the "worst" prime minister he had seen "by a country mile", although he insisted he had no "personal hostility" towards him.

Speaking to GB News, Bercow also denied claims that he had been "banned" from Westminster after an investigation found him to be a "serial" bully and claimed the whole process had been "amateurish".

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During his time as speaker, Bercow became known as a scourge of Brexiteers, who believed a series of rulings he made during were in favour of Remain.

He stepped down from the job in 2019, and defected to Labour in 2021, claiming the Conservatives under Johnson had become "reactionary, populist, nationalistic and sometimes even xenophobic".

John Bercow speaks to PA Media in Westminster, London, after The Independent Expert Panel report upheld a finding that he was a
Bercow criticised the 'amateurish, ramshackle, hopelessly flawed process of investigation' into his alleged bullying of staff. (Getty Images)

“I didn't think he was fit for office, I thought he was immoral, unethical, unfocused, utterly devoid of any coherent vision or plan for the country," he told GB News's Camilla Tominey.

To his supporters, Johnson is quick-witted, charismatic, and possesses the ability to work his bumbling persona to his advantage – but Bercow wasn't having any of it.

“He is, I think without doubt, the worst public speaker of any prime minister I've ever heard. I've never known anybody so fumbling. He made one good speech."

Bercow also had plenty of strong words to say about the handling of the parliamentary inquiry into claims he bullied and belittled his own staff.

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He said: "I've not been banned from Westminster, that's the first point.

"The second point is that I was told that I couldn't have a parliamentary pass – Camilla, I didn’t ask for a parliamentary pass so it's a completely toothless, meaningless, absurd and implausible sanction.

"Thirdly, what I would say to you is, look, I am not without flaw or blemish, to err is human, I've made my fair share of mistakes, but I don't believe that I've bullied anyone in any way, anywhere at any time.

"When it was suggested that I had lied – many things have been said about me over the years – but not that I am other than straightforward and candid, I haven't lied about anything."

On the day the Prime Minister brings his Brexit bill for a vote at the House of Commons, Pro Brexit anti European Union Leave protesters demonstrating with a placard against the Speaker of the House John Bercow in Westminster on 22nd October 2019 in London, England, United Kingdom. Brexit is the scheduled withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union. Following a June 2016 referendum, in which 51.9% of participating voters voted to leave. (photo by Mike Kemp/In Pictures via Getty Images)
During his time as speaker, Bercow was seen as a thorn in the side of many Brexiteers. (Getty Images)

Bercow hit out at the "amateurish, ramshackle, hopelessly flawed process of investigation" and said that historic probes into matters going back over a decade "immediately ceased" after his case.

"Everybody now is capable of being investigated only if a complaint is made within 12 months," Bercow told the programme.

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"I had people making allegations about what I did or didn't say unwitnessed in a room a decade or more earlier."

He added: "It's an absurd process with no weight or credibility... To say it's a kangaroo court is a very marked insult to kangaroos."

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