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John Bercow spent £1,000 on taxi journey in final months as Speaker

Bercow spending spree

John Bercow went on a spending spree in the final months of his job as speaker (Picture: Getty Images)

John Bercow spent £1,000 on a taxi fare and £12,000 on leaving parties for staff in the run-up to his retirement.

Details of his expenses – paid by taxpayers – revealed the former Commons Speaker also used £7,000 on a trip to the United States in his final months of the job.

In April, the British politician splashed out £1,003 on a 260-mile return taxi journey from Westminster to Nottingham Trent University that would have cost as little as £67 if he went by train, a Freedom of Information request submitted by MailOnline revealed.

The driver waited for him as he gave a speech about how Parliament should respond to the ‘anti-politics age’ to the Political Studies Association conference and dropped his colleague off in Bicester on the way back, a Commons spokeswoman said.

She added that Mr Bercow was encouraged not to take public transport to the event, saying: ‘Due to heightened security concerns for the safety of MPs, Mr Bercow was advised it was safer for him to travel to Nottingham Trent University by taxi, rather than by train.’

However, the biggest expense in the final months of Mr Bercow’s nine-year tenure as Speaker was staff leaving parties.

His £12,000 bill included a £3,168 retirement party for Speaker’s chaplain Rose Hudson-Wilkin, who went onto become the Bishop of Dover rather than retire.

A general view of Nottingham Trent University, Nottingham.

The former Commons Speaker spent £1,003 on a 260-mile taxi journey to Nottingham Trent University (Picture: PA Images Contributor/Press Association Images)

The Remain-voter also spent £2,376 on a retirement party for the Commons invitations secretary in February and £3,187 for a formal farewell to Clerk of the House David Natzler a month later.

In May, the Speaker’s official account shows he splurged £3,696 on giving the principal clerk of the Table Office a send-off.

A Commons spokeswoman said: ‘The Speaker’s Office has funded retirement receptions for senior staff many times in the past.’

In May 2019, the former Conservative MP used £7,000 on a visit to Washington DC to deliver a speech on the ‘role of Parliament in today’s Britain’ to a think tank, also visiting Virginia and Boston along the way.

His expenses also include a £118-a-month subscription to Sky for Speaker’s House, the apartment within the Palace of Westminster where he lived with his family.

The Commons spokeswoman said: ‘On becoming Speaker, Mr Bercow inherited two Sky subscriptions for the Speaker’s Residence both of which were paid for by the House. Mr Bercow made the decision to retain one subscription.’

In January, Mr Bercow also used his official account to settle a £234 drinks bill at a reception for the Panel of Chairs, MPs who help him oversee Parliamentary debates.

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He also used his official account to settle a £234 drinks bill at a reception for some MPs (Picture: Splash News)

Taxpayers also spent £560 on a lunch for his counterparts in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

A Commons spokeswoman said: ‘In line with long established practice, the Speaker’s Office funds the drinks and the pre-dinner reception for the Panel of Chairs dinner.’

Since leaving the Commons on October 31, Mr Bercow has been hired for a number of media appearances.

He provided commentary for Sky News during the General Election in December.

His successor as Speaker, Sir Lindsay Hoyle, has vowed to bring in a ‘different style’ and has been praised for ensuring sessions do not overrun.



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