John Bercow has denied discussing the prospect of a peerage with Sir Keir Starmer after the former Commons speaker and Tory MP defected to the Labour Party.
Mr Bercow said on Sunday there has been “no barter, no trade, no deal whatsoever” after launching an attack on the Conservatives under Boris Johnson as he switched sides.
During his 10 years in the speaker’s chair, Mr Bercow made numerous enemies among Tory Brexit-supporting MPs due to a series of decisions perceived as favouring the Remain camp.
The Tories also enraged Mr Bercow by breaking with long-standing convention to elevate a retiring speaker to the House of Lords, amid allegations that he bullied parliamentary staff, which he has always denied.
Critics linked Mr Bercow’s defection to an alleged plot to win a fresh nomination for a peerage from the current Labour leader.
But Mr Bercow told Sky’s Trevor Phillips On Sunday: “I’ve had absolutely no discussion whatsoever, either with Keir Starmer or any other member of the Labour leadership about that matter.
“There has been no barter, no trade, no deal whatsoever.
“And if I may very politely say so, and I do, the people who make what they think is that potent and coruscating criticism of me are operating according to their own rather low standards.”
Conservative MP Andrew Bridgen is among those who has alleged Mr Bercow was operating a “cynical” and “cunning” plan to be nominated as a Labour peer.
Asked what he would do if the Labour leader rang him and offered him a peerage, Mr Bercow said: “It isn’t in my mind, it’s not part of the game plan, I haven’t discussed it, I’m not waiting for it. What I’m motivated by is a commitment to equality, social justice and internationalism.”
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