Campaign Against Antisemitism has written to John Bercow seeking further information about his account of antisemitism in the Conservative Party.
Mr Bercow, a longtime MP who left the Conservative Party when he became Speaker of the House of Commons in 2009, revealed in an interview with The Sunday Times Magazine in the course of promoting his new memoirs, that he had been the target of antisemitism by fellow Conservatives.
He said that this took the form of mostly “subtle” digs at his Jewish heritage. He also provided an example, saying that “I remember a member saying, ‘If I had my way, Berkoff [sic], people like you wouldn’t be allowed in this place’, And I said, ‘Sorry, when you say people like me, do you mean lower-class or Jewish?’ To which he replied, ‘Both’.”
Mr Bercow added that “in 22 years, I never experienced antisemitism from a member of the Labour Party. But I did experience antisemitism from members of the Conservative Party.”
Mr Bercow also expressed remorse for his involvement with the controversial Monday Club, saying, “Here I was, a Jewish boy…sidling up to racists.”
However, Mr Bercow controversially intervened in Labour’s antisemitism scandal recently by defending the Party’s leader, Jeremy Corbyn, over charges of antisemitism. The Labour leader subsequently nominated Mr Bercow for a peerage which had not been granted to him by the Conservative Government. Mr Bercow’s nomination has raised concerns about Mr Bercow’s motives for defending Mr Corbyn.
Campaign Against Antisemitism has written to Mr Bercow for further details about his experiences.
Campaign Against Antisemitism advocates for zero tolerance of antisemitism in public life, To that end we monitor all political parties and strive to ensure that any cases of concern are properly addressed.