A SOUTHEND MP has again called for the Commons speaker John Bercow to quit after an independent probe laid bare the bullying culture in the Commons.

The Dame Laura Cox report, published this week, said there was a tradition of “deference and silence” that “actively sought to cover up abusive conduct”.

James Duddridge, MP for Rochford and Southend East, has been a longstanding critic of Mr Bercow and has this week criticised him in the Commons.

The conservative MP said: “This is a disturbing report which identifies a number of unacceptable behaviours. Page 64 lists some of them: taunting, mocking, mimicking, deliberately belittling in front of other members, making offensive personal comments about appearance, and humiliating tirades of criticism of abuse in front of colleagues.

“How can we encourage Mr Speaker to stop this behaviour?”

Mr Bercow announced that he wants complaints about bullying, harassment and sexual misconduct in the Commons to be investigated by an outside body.

But he is facing intense pressure to stand down over his leadership on the issue, as well as allegations he bullied officials - claims he strongly denies.

Earlier this year, Mr Duddridge made an official complaint against the Speaker over claims he made offensive comments to a fellow conservative MP.

He reported Mr Bercow to the Commons’ standards watchdog after claims he branded Andrea Leadsom a “stupid woman” and “f***ing useless”.

But on Tuesday, Mr Duddridge came under fire himself from a Labour MP who claimed he was exploiting the situation for his own political gain.

Jess Phillips claimed there are 12 people walking around in Westminster abusing people and called for a “massive overhaul” of Commons management. She described Mr Duddridge as “neither right nor honourable” who was “speaking only for [himself]”.

She added: “Some of us don’t care who the offenders are. It’s the victims we care about and we will not use it for political gain.”

A spokeswoman for the Speaker told the BBC that he had been elected in 2017 “for the course of the parliament”, adding: “In the event he has anything to say on his future plans, he will make an announcement to the House first.”